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Transport / Inter-island transport programme project takes step forward

Development director Neil Grant says ‘now feels like the time is right to take a fresh look at what is possible’

The Eysturoyartunnilin tunnel in Faroe. Photo: Ólavur Frederiksen

CONSULTANTS have now been selected for the council’s upcoming inter-island transport connectivity programme which will explore the possibility of tunnels to some of Shetland’s islands.

Following a competitive bid process, Stantec UK Ltd has been selected as the preferred bidder for the programme.

The work includes developing the network strategy strategic and outline business cases, conducting stakeholder engagement and setting out the implementation route map that will set out the order in which individual projects should be prioritised.

This work will get underway once the 18-month contract is finalised and formally awarded.

It will explore the needs of Shetland’s inter-island transport network.

Shetland Islands Council’s development director Neil Grant said: “This is a hugely important programme of work for Shetland, and one that will have communities at its heart.

“We’ve already set up a community stakeholder/user group and there will be stakeholder engagement across the islands during this whole process.

“A resilient and sustainable transport network is essential for supporting communities, meeting current needs and allowing for future development.

“The business case will set out an evidence-based way forward that defines preferred options for each transport route, and these could include options that may be unprecedented in the UK.

“There has been a huge amount of work done on fixed links over the years.

“It now feels like the time is right to take a fresh look at what is possible.

“We look forward to working with Stantec on a project that has the potential to make a significant difference to the connectivity of the islands and Shetland as a whole.”

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