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News round-up / Call for help for tourism sector, international arrival at Sumburgh, active travel packs from ZetTrans

NORTHERN isles MP Alistair Carmichael has welcomed the extension of the UK Government’s furlough scheme till the end of October, but has called for more support for the self-employed and tourism.

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

Speaking remotely to the House of Commons following Tuesday’s announcement Carmichael called for a 12-month programme of support for tourism to reflect its seasonal nature.

Carmichael said: “We still have no answer for those small business people who rely on dividend income rather than a salary for their income. The government are allowing too many self-employed people to be left behind.

“Here in the Northern Isles we particularly see that in the visitor economy, which is crucial to us. The assistance for bed and breakfast operators, or operators of self-catering accommodation, leaves too many people without the assistance they need.

“Those parts of the country that have seasonal tourism require a 12-month programme, or else the tourism industry that will be left to be resurrected at the end of this process will be that much weaker, and the rebuilding and recovery much more difficult.”


THERE was a somewhat unusual plane arrival at Sumburgh Airport last week (7 May) when a flight from Estonia was chartered to assist NorthLink Ferries with a crew changeover.

NorthLink confirmed that crew who had been working on the freight services were flown back home and switched over with the crew who arrived on the inbound flight.

A spokesperson said this was done to “ensure safe and efficient travel”.

The NyxAir aircraft flew to Shetland from Estonian capital Tallinn before making a return journey in the afternoon.


 ZETTRANS, the Shetland transport partnership, has developed education packs on active travel for primary and secondary pupils to support home schooling.

The packs are designed to provide a resource for parents and teachers during lockdown and encourage families to get engaged with the Shetland’s Active Travel Strategy.

The packs include a number of activities which pupils are asked to provide feedback on – the developers especially want to hear how lockdown has affected people’s travel behaviour and experience of their neighbourhood.

Transport policy officer Robina Barton said: “We had originally wanted to do face to face engagement in schools but the lockdown led us to look at other ways for school age children to feed into Shetland’s Active Travel Strategy.

“We hope these packs will allow that to happen, and provide inspiration for parents and teachers in these challenging times.”

Packs can be accessed here.