Transport / MSP launches survey on NorthLink bookings

NorthLink passenger ferry Hjaltland arriving at Lerwick Harbour. Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart has put out a survey today (Monday) to gather constituents’ experiences of booking NorthLink journeys.

The survey includes 10 questions about how many trips responders have attempted to book, if they booked a cabin or car, if they used concession vouchers and if their bookings were successful.

This comes after Wishart and Orkney MSP Liam McArthur criticised the Scottish Government last week when they announced that concessionary travellers will still have to use two vouchers to book a cabin.

There are also no plans to reintroduce shared cabins, despite the popularity of Facebook groups dedicated to finding spare bunks

Wishart hopes the survey can better inform her on the problems islanders are facing.

She said: “I know that many islanders are sick of dealing with NorthLink’s restricted booking system but my understanding is the issue lies with Transport Scotland.

“Summer travellers are warning that booking a cabin with or without a car is proving challenging while those looking to book travel now for the October and Christmas holidays are finding that it is impossible.”


Currently NorthLink is only accepting bookings up to 30 September 2023.

“I want to hear from those who have been affected by lack of availability and the delays in opening the booking system beyond September to try to establish just how many people are affected,” Wishart said.

“My inbox tells me that goodwill is starting to erode and the Scottish Government needs to listen.

“This survey will help me to make the case to Transport Scotland and to Ministers that now is the time for action.”

Wishart’s survey can be found on her website.

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