UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Saturday 20 July 2024
 14.3°C   SSE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Transport / Transport officials exploring daytime sailings

Photo: NorthLink Ferries

DAYTIME sailings are an option currently being considered by ferry bosses in response to concerns over capacity on the NorthLink boats.

Transport Scotland said it is currently exploring the idea with operator Serco NorthLink Ferries and will report back in due course.

It comes after Shetland councillor Ryan Thomson raised the idea directly with the Scottish Government agency, which contracts Serco to run the Northern Isles service.

Capacity on the boats has been a consistent issue over the years, but this summer has things brought back into sharp focus.

Writing today (Thursday) in response to Thomson, an official from Transport Scotland’s ferries unit said: “An update will be provided to stakeholders when all of the details are available, and we are able to consider fully the effects this proposal would have on the ferry service.”

They added that the government “fully recognises the key role” the Northern Isles ferry service plays in supporting the economic, social and cultural development of Shetland and Orkney, and the “critical importance of these services to those who live and work on the islands”.

The official said they hoped the response assured Thomson that “we are considering all available options”.

At the moment the two passenger ferries spend the day in port in Lerwick and Aberdeen after their overnight sailings.

Thomson, a former transport chair in the council, said he felt it was worth exploring the idea of introducing a combination of daytime and overnight sailings.

His proposal is for three daytime sailings and four evening trips a week all year round, with additional journeys laid on in the busier summer months as necessary.

Thomson said he was encouraged that there “appears to be a change of stance at Transport Scotland when it comes to changing the current timetable to a mix of daytime and overnight sailings.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“A mix of daytime and overnight sailings would give islanders a choice of when they travel, assist in the cabin capacity issues and save travellers money if they choose to travel during the daytime without the need for a cabin,” he added.

“I look forward to hearing the conclusion of the investigation and discussions with Serco, and that our lifeline service returns to a service which puts the passenger, and the islander as priority.”

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.

 

Newsletters

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.