News / Lights to be turned back on, bus payments by credit card and less money for free bus passes

SHETLAND Islands Council is about to amend its street lighting policy, which will bring new light to darkened areas and at less cost.

Since all of Shetland’s 4,000 street lights are in the process of being upgraded with new LED lights, the council is in line to save around 60 per cent in energy costs.

The environment of transport committee on Monday agreed that a further saving could be made when dimming the LED lights between midnight and 6am.

Roads manager Dave Coupe said a 25 per cent reduction in light intensity was “virtually indistinguishable” but would add a further 25 per cent reduction in energy savings.

The committee agreed that this measure should also be introduced where the streetlights are currently being switched off between midnight and 6am.

The committee further approved a proposal by southend councillor George Smith that in the areas where streetlights have physically been removed, residents should be asked if they want them back.


Passengers on Shetland bus network will soon be able to pay their fare with a Debit or Credit Card.

Monday’s environment and transport committee heard from transport manager Michael Craigie that the new hardware would be installed on all buses in two to three weeks time.

Asked by committee chairman Ryan Thomson if and when this would be rolled out to the inter island ferries, Craigie said that a business case was being made to the Scottish Government to attract funding for the investment.

The amount of money the council is getting reimbursed from the Scottish Government from people enjoying free bus and travel will reduce from 57 per cent to 52 per cent of the full fare.

The figure came to light when councillors at Monday’s environment and transport committee discussed the impact the growing number of people benefitting from concessionary fares is having on the council’s ability to balance its bus budget.

Councillor George Smith said the way concessionary fares are paid for appeared to be “poorly understood”.

“It is understood as free travel funded by the Scottish Government,” he said, “where in fact it is the local authority that foots some of the bill.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.