21st February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Work on ferry contract ready to begin

Work is to begin this month on the first stages of the next North Boats ferry contract, due to come into force in 2018.
The starting point will be a study as part of a process known as Stag (Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance), which will be supported by a working group which will liaise with Shetland Islands Council, Orkney Islands Council, ZetTrans, HiTrans (Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership) and Transport Scotland.

Meanwhile Transport Scotland, part of the Scottish government, is to appoint consultants to do research, including surveys and technical research, into the requirements for the lifeline service. The tender is now out for preferred consultants.

The working group will guide the consultants and check what they are doing in a process designed to take between 10 and 12 months.

Transport chief Michael Craigie said at a meeting of the council’s external transport forum that the key was to identify all the issues needed by Shetland and Orkney in the lifeline service.

External transport forum chairman Michael Stout said: “We want to learn from the past and not argue about who gets the contract. It’s important to get the contract right for a better service for less money at the end of the day.”

About Rosalind Griffiths

I am a Shetland Times reporter covering news, including health stories, and features. I have been in Shetland for more than 30 years.

View other stories by »

3 comments

  1. Leslie Lowes

    The study process towards getting a new Shetland to Aberdeen Ferry is clearly important, but surely as far as islanders and other farepayers are concerned, it is equally important to sort out what the future costs of using the ferries is going to be.

    For that matter, it is even more important to know what is going to be done about the charges we currently face for getting to Aberdeen.

    SNP candidate for Holyrood Danus Skene has promised a level playing field on ferries, presumably reflecting on the fact that charges for the Western Isles ferries have been reduced yet again this autumn and have been halved for travellers to and from the western highlands. However he always seems then, to go on to talk about the internal Shetland ferries, which the SIC runs and which they pay many millions of pounds to support annually. It would be nice if these costs were to be picked up by the Scottish government, but what about the cost of using the Aberdeen ferries Danus? Will we ever get a level playing field with those ferry costs? We could happily live with a Western Highlands 50% cut on fares there I think.

    Reply
  2. Wayne Conroy

    … a study…consultants…working group…surveys and technical research…process designed to take between 10 and 12 months.

    I can’t help but get the feeling that this is all a terrible waste of time and money. Surely it can’t be that hard to work out the requirements of a roll on/roll off lifeline service that has been running since the 1950’s.

    Reply
  3. Chris Johnston

    Mr. Michael Stout said, “We want to learn from the past and not argue about who gets the contract.”

    That is not possible since the process is controlled by the Scottish Government and one of the tenderers is owned in total by the Scottish Government.

    “Meanwhile Transport Scotland, part of the Scottish government, is to appoint consultants to do research, including surveys and technical research, into the requirements for the lifeline service. The tender is now out for preferred consultants.”

    This is a make-work job as it repeats what was done during the last tender cycle. Those preparing the report will dust off the previous report and change a few figures. But it will keep government workers and consultants employed.

    Reply

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

Win a £20 Voucher Complete our survey today
10 Winners will be drawn at random from completed entries
No thanks Take survey No thanks