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NorthLink terminal passenger walkway out of action

The passenger walkway to access NorthLink ferries docked in Lerwick has been out of action in recent days.

LERWICK Port Authority says it hopes to have the passenger walkway for boarding vessels at NorthLink Ferry Terminal back up and running by the end of this week.

The walkway has been out of action for between four and five weeks – coinciding with the busy October school holiday period – after the failure of a part.  

It has meant travellers having to embark and disembark NorthLink’s two passenger ferries via the car deck, and the LPA said it was “very disappointed” by the situation.

In a statement the harbour authority said: “We sincerely apologise to NorthLink Ferries and their passengers for the inconvenience of having to use the alternative linkspan ramp.”

A replacement part was immediately ordered and has now been fitted, with a specialist engineer due in Shetland on Wednesday to calibrate the part and LPA deputy chief executive Calum Grains said the plan was for the walkway to be back in use “before the end of the week”.

The LPA said safety was of “paramount importance” and, while the organisation has a maintenance agreement with its equipment supplier, “unfortunately the part required on this occasion was not stocked in the UK”.

The port authority spokesman added: “Discussions have started to identify essential spare parts that we may need to hold in stock in Lerwick to minimise any such disruption in future.”