News / Islanders urged to share their views on the state of ferry services

The inquiry will look at ferry services at the Scottish west coast as weel as the northern isles. Photo: Shetland News

ISLANDERS will have a chance to express their frustrations with the current state of ferry services as part of an inquiry held by the Scottish Parliament’s net zero, energy and transport committee.

The committee said it is keen to hear from islanders across Scotland, mainland residents and businesses impacted by ferry services.

The inquiry comes at a crucial moment at time with widespread disruptions and limitations in Shetland’s internal and external ferry services.

The inquiry has been called in response to a petition by residents of Uist (in the Western Isles) who are fed up with the unreliability of their ferry services provided by state-owned Calmac.

An initial session with representatives from six island communities, including Yell Community Council chairman Laurence Odie, was held last week

Within the inquiry, the committee will consider areas such as:

  • What do island residents, businesses, and other ferry users need from Scottish Government-supported ferry services?’
  • What institutional and funding arrangements would meet the needs of current and future ferry users?’
  • What vessel size, type, deployment and crewing arrangements would best satisfy the infrastructure?
Committee convener Dean Lockhart MSP.

Committee chair Dean Lockhart MSP said: “Scotland needs a reliable ferry service that is future-proofed, compatible with Scotland’s net zero goals and meets the needs of all service users.

“Without this, the stark reality is that the long-term sustainability of island communities and businesses is at risk.

“We’re keen to hear many different perspectives on what a modern ferry service should look like.

“These views will help us inform Scottish Government policies and strategies with a view to securing a positive outcome for the future of ferries and island connectivity in Scotland.”

People and business can submit their views and comments using this link.

The call for evidence will be kept open until 26 August. The committee will then hear oral evidence and is expected to report on its conclusions early next year.

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.