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Transport / Safety guidance being worked on for cruise ship cyclists

A scenic view of a rural landscape featuring a lake surrounded by rolling hills, with a line of power poles and cables in the foreground.

GUIDANCE on cruise passengers cycling in Shetland is set to be provided to ship operators amid concern over long lines of cyclists causing issues on local roads.

It comes as Lerwick councillor Neil Pearson said he felt the issue is a “ticking time bomb” in terms of safety of both cyclists and drivers.

Concern has been raised locally on safety grounds over cruise passengers using bicycles provided on board their ship in large groups, with little space for drivers to overtake.

There has been a similar issue in Orkney, where cruise ships also visit in numbers, but guidance and information packs are now being issued to liners planning to carry out cycle tours there this year.

A meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board heard on Wednesday that similar guidance is now being worked on for liners visiting Lerwick.

This is being led by Shetland Islands Council’s roads service in conjunction with the police.

The matter was raised at Wednesday’s meeting by councillor Pearson, who said he had “huge concern” over the issue.

Local road safety officer Elaine Skinley said it was “something we need to look at” and highlighted the work underway on developing guidance.

Shetland police’s area commander chief inspector Stuart Clemenson said it was a “new and emerging trend” which was being experienced across the Highlands and Islands.

He said the advice remains to give cyclists space.

There was also concern over people cycling in fog, as a smaller number of cruise passengers were pictured during last week.

Pearson also highlighted how he nearly had an accident with a lone cyclist in the fog who had no lights on.

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