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Also in the news / Bressay ferry, TSB reaction and more…

The council ferry Leirna heading to Bressay. Photo: Shetland News

WORK will be undertaken on exploring the feasibility of introducing an earlier start to the Bressay ferry service.

The decision was made at a meeting of transport partnership ZetTrans on Thursday.

The Bressay Community Council has requested that the first ferry leaves the island at 6.30am instead of the current 7am.

This is to allow residents to catch the first flight from Sumburgh to Aberdeen, particularly for health appointments, and to open up job opportunities for roles that have a 7am start.

Work will now take place on assessing the opportunities, costs and operational impacts of an earlier start, with a report due to be presented to ZetTrans members in August.


LIVING Lerwick manager Emma Miller says news that the TSB in the town will close later this year is disappointing – but added her hope that the building will be put to good use after the bank closes.

Responding to news announced earlier this month, she said: “As a small town we’re actually very well served by local bank branches and I believe that face to face banking is an important thing for many in our community so it’s a real shame to be losing one of those services.

“I see they are planning to operate a ‘pop up’ banking service which I hope will remain in an accessible location for their customers.

“The current building is a well recognised architectural feature of our Esplanade area so I’m sure it will be put into service by another business in due course.”


THE NORTHERN Isles’ political representatives have welcomed news that BT will significantly delay plans to force customers to switch from physical copper-based landlines to internet-based services, following concerns from vulnerable people.

The switch was paused at the end of last year after several incidents where telecare devices stopped working.

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Nearly two million people in the UK use personal alarms which rely on landlines. BT, which is also responsible for EE customers, will now aim to complete the switchover by the end of January 2027.

The isles representatives warned that the additional time must be used to ensure that there will be no detriment in safety and resilience for vulnerable customers who rely on a connection for alarm systems and other health devices.

The switchover has been highly controversial because it will mean a power outage could cause landline phones to no longer work.

BT has said it will protect vulnerable customers and plans to provide “resilient solutions” to those who are dependent on their landline, including providing free battery back-up units and offering hybrid phones which can use both broadband and mobile networks.


A visualisation of what the installation would look like. Image: Kevin Kelly Architects

A NEW architectural installation in Foula which is said to be a “harmonious blend of innovation and tradition” has received planning permission.

The timber installation, called The Pilgrim Stones and designed by London-based architect Kevin Kelly, would also act as a shelter for visitors.

Temporary planning permission has been granted for three years.

The installation was commissioned following a nationwide design competition led by footwear brand Merrell to inspire native travel and act as a place of solace in solitude for walkers.


STAFF from the council’s housing service will be carrying out estate inspections across Shetland during late May and June.

Inspection officers will be looking at the condition of housing schemes, including gardens and parking areas, paths.

Council tenants do not need to be home for the inspections, but anyone who would like to discuss any issues with the inspection officer is asked to get in touch with the SIC.

Details of when inspections will be taking place are available on the SIC website.

Anyone who does not have access to the website is asked to contact the housing service for details on 01595 744 360.

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