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Transport / Card payments now available on most ferry routes

The Yell ferry Daggri.

CARD payments are now available on all inter-island ferry routes in Shetland except for Fair Isle, a meeting heard on Tuesday.

Shetland Islands Council’s transport planning manager Michael Craigie said the roll-out would be publicised widely soon once things are bedded in.

He gave the update to a meeting of the council’s environment and transport committee.

Chairman Ryan Thomson, who represents the North Isles, said introducing the equipment had been a priority.

Meanwhile the committee also gave its approval of a business case for a new Fair isle ferry and harbour improvements.

It is the latest committee to hear the report after members of ZetTrans gave it the thumbs up on Monday.

The plan is to use the business case as the basis for an application worth up to £25 million from a new UK Government fund.

During questioning Lerwick member Peter Campbell asked if having 12 passengers on the proposed new boat would stunt hopes to grow tourism in Fair Isle, but Craigie said most visitors use the plane.

Shetland South member George Smith, whose ward includes the remote community, said it was a “hugely significant report for the people of Fair Isle”.

“At the end of the day this will test the resolve of government whether they actually do govern for the whole of our islands,” he said.

The same report will go in front of the policy and resources committee on Monday and the full council on 16 June before a funding application is submitted.