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Transport / Humza Yousaf says he will look into NorthLink booking issues ‘personally’

Humza Yousaf pictured in Lerwick in August 2022. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

THE Scottish First Minister has said today (Thursday) that he would “personally” look into why NorthLink bookings cannot currently be made beyond 30 September.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart raised islanders’ concerns at the Scottish Parliament this morning.

Wishart told Yousaf: “My constituents can’t book sailings between Shetland and Aberdeen beyond 30 September, because Transport Scotland has not opened up the booking system beyond that date.

“It appears to be a bureaucratic decision that has little to do with meeting the needs of the people who rely on this lifeline service to the Scottish mainland.

“It’s the third time islanders have faced a ‘cliff-edge’ for bookings in the past 12 months.”

She went on to say that Yousaf’s own Glasgow constituents would not accept such travel issues, so neither should Shetlanders.

Yousaf replied saying Wishart raised important points, but that it was “not helpful” to compare different areas of the country to one another.

“There can sometimes be technical reasons for why booking systems can’t be opened but I will look at this issue personally,” he said.

“If the booking system can be opened earlier, clearly that would be of great help and use to Shetlanders.

“We will see what can be done in that regard and I will ensure that we update Beatrice Wishart as soon as we possibly can.”

Last month Wishart launched a survey to find out more about people’s experiences of booking with NorthLink. She has now received over 1000 responses.

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