Most difficult year to date for local transport partnership
The council’s transport partnership is recovering from its most challenging year since it was formed in 2005.
ZetTrans chairwoman Iris Hawkins says a severe and prolonged winter coupled with the public sector squeeze have left the partnership facing difficult problems during 2010.
In the partnership’s annual report, due to be discussed by members on Monday, she says staff resources have been at the lowest level since it was established. However, she vowed to safeguard “lifeline” services during the year ahead.
“This is the most challenging year to date for ZetTrans since the partnership was established,” Mrs Hawkins states in her introduction to the report.
She writes: “The most severe winter on record was followed by considerable economic pressure on the public sector and staff resources have been at the lowest level since the partnership was established.
“The recent spending review announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in October 2010 informs us of further cost pressures in the next few years.
“It is likely that our economy will change as a consequence of reduced public spending and it is important that in this time of difficulty ZetTrans continues to deliver the key transport services that Shetland needs and works to develop innovative solutions to meet changing needs with less resources.
“In the coming year we will safeguard the lifeline services that are essential for our health, our education, our livelihoods and our social needs.
“We will continue to work with our community planning partners to deliver the regional transport strategy vision and objectives.
“The financial climate, rising fuel prices, safeguarding our lifeline links and protecting our special environment are the challenges for ZetTrans in the year ahead.”