It is interesting to note that transport issues are high on the agenda with most, if not all of the election candidates, and environmental issues also appear to be important to all.
However none appear to have mentioned that Shetland Islands Council could reduce their production of carbon by 64 per cent by replacing the ferry services to Yell and Whalsay with fixed links. The ferry service proposals presently being promoted by SIC officials would cause an increase of carbon production.
Ferries running costs would also increase if the present SIC proposals are approved, from £9.2 million for the two routes in 2015/16 to probably around £12 million per annum. If we multiply that by 60 we get £720 million in running costs alone over a 60 year period.
The combined running cost for tunnels to both islands would be less than a million per annum, £60 million for 60 years.
This would appear to show that the claim in the SIITS document that the ferries options are cheaper to run over 60 years than running a tunnel for 60 years is flawed.
Whenever tunnels are mentioned we hear the mantra of up front capital costs being quoted, experience in Yell sound shows that the cost of building the ferry service around 15 years ago was higher than the cost of the proposed tunnel at that time.
The quote for a Whalsay tunnel received in 2017 by the Whalsay Community Council and passed on to the SIC and Scottish Government was for £76 million including connecting roads.
During a 60 year period the ferries would need to be replaced at 30 year periods so two at 12 million each at the beginning two at 30 years and another two at 60 years = £72 million.
New ferry terminals would also be required for Whalsay – three at the beginning £27.6 million and again at 40 years total £55.2 million? Additional costs would also be required for connecting roads, terminal buildings, terminal parking areas, etc and road upgrades to cope with an increased traffic flow at every ferry run, all of those costs appear to be excluded from the SIC officials ferries cost estimate.
The SIC proposal for Whalsay of three new terminals and two new ferries, was priced in the Faber Maunsell report with a Present Value of Costs figure of £60,821,128, over ten years ago.
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 420 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.Support Shetland News