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Transport / Contract award paves way for work to begin on inter-island transport project

The Fivla at the Bressay ferry terminal. Photo: Shetland News

THE CONTRACT for a significant programme on Shetland’s inter-island transport network has finally been formally awarded.

Chair of Shetland Islands Council’s environment and transport committee Moraig Lyall said she was “very pleased” to say work on the project has begun.

The project – which is already behind its initial timescales – is especially significant as it is set to explore the prospect of tunnels to some of Shetland’s islands.

The end result should be that business cases will be formed which could underpin investment in Shetland’s future transport set-up.

Consultancy firm Stantec, which has worked on Shetland projects in the past such as a study on an isle-wide walking route and a consultation on the development of local transport, was selected as the preferred bidder for the 18 month contract in April.

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council confirmed on Monday that the contract has now formally been awarded.

In March last year councillors approved spending £700,000 on the project, which will come from revenue the SIC receives from the Crown Estate, with estimates suggesting it could have been finished in 18 months.

There is now no prospect of that timeline being achieved, which previously led to some frustration from elected members in the council chamber.

The programme comes against a backdrop of the SIC’s internal ferry fleet continuing to age.

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