27th September 2016
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Views wanted on inter-island transport

2 comments, , by , in News

People who rely on the inter-island transport links will have their chance to say how well they are working at a series of events next week.

Shetland Islands Council and ZetTrans are holding several sessions next week as part of work to secure long-term funding for transport links within Shetland. These will focus on the initial results from a recent study, aimed at helping the Scottish government consider costs associated with these services.

A number of drop-in sessions will be held around the isles to explain the options being considered and to encourage the public to give their views.

The first will take place on Monday in Whalsay, with other events also taking place in Bressay on Tuesday, Foula on Wednesday morning and Fair Isle in the afternoon, Yell on Thursday and Skerries on Friday. An online survey can be completed on the transport section of the council’s website.

Chairman of the SIC’s environment and transport committee and ZetTrans, Michael Stout said: “We are now at a critical stage in an extensive piece of work with Transport Scotland to plan for the next 30 years of inter-island transport in Shetland.

“We’ve gathered a huge amount of information from communities in recent years, which, along with feedback from these events, will be crucial to the proposals put forward to the Scottish government on future funding and provision. I would encourage as many folk as possible to come along to one of the sessions, or complete the online questionnaire, to give us their views.”

2 comments

  1. Alec Priest

    Important missing information from Shetland inter-island transport study:

    Missing from the report is the replacement cost of the ferries and the annual running cost of both the ferry service and the proposed fixed link option. So here are the missing bits of information:

    2015/16 Yell sound ferry service running cost = £5,807,093. From financial review, Shetland Inter Island Transport Study (Interestingly part of the report but not published to the public report?)

    Fixed link tunnel running cost = £250,000. From Norwegian tunnelling company meeting with SIC councillor and Scottish transport minister 2015.

    Replacement cost of Yell sound ferries (No terminals) = £17 – £23 million each, £34 – £46 million total. Based on B600 class ferries in the 2008 STAG report.

    The other major fact missing is the replacement timeline for each of the services. The inter-island ferries are proposed to be replaced, at the latest, after 30 years of service. Whilst the tunnel is to last a minimum of 100 years.

    Overall costings for lifetime of ferry vessels and fixed link (2016/17 prices):
    Ferry lifespan 30 years:
    Ferry service (best case). £5.8 million per year = £178 million + replacement cost of ferries = £34 million. Total cost of 30 year service = £212 million.
    Ferry service (worst case). £5.8 million per year = £178 million + replacement cost of ferries = £46 million. Total cost of 30 year service = £224 million.
    Fixed link (best case). £250 thousand per year = £7.5 million + construction cost = £81 million. Total cost of 30 year service = £88.5 million.
    Fixed link (worst case). £250 thousand per year = £7.5 million + construction cost = £102 million. Total cost of 30 year service = £109.5 million.

    Summary on 30 year costs (2016/17 figures):
    Ferries = £212 – £224 million + work on terminals. Fixed link = £88.5 – 109.5 million.

    Tunnel lifespan 100 years:
    Ferry service (best case). £5.8 million per year = £580 million + three replacement cost of ferries = £102 million. Total cost of 100 year service = £682 million.
    Ferry service (worst case). £5.8 million per year = £580 million + three replacement cost of ferries = £138 million. Total cost of 100 year service = £718 million.
    Fixed link (best case). £250 thousand per year = £25 million + construction cost = £81 million. Total cost of 100 year service = £106 million.
    Fixed link (worst case). £250 thousand per year = £25 million + construction cost = £102 million. Total cost of 100 year service = £127 million.

    Summary on 100 year costs (2016/17 figures):
    Ferries = £682 – £718 million + work on terminals. Fixed link = £106 – £127 million.

    Also worth noting is that when the Yellsound ferries and terminals were replaced in 2004 the budget for replacing them was somewhere in the region of £22 million but the total expenditure was £38,317,533.
    The quote for putting in a fixed link was £26.9 – £32.5 million.
    This just goes to prove how unsustainable the ferries are as a transport link.

    Reply
  2. William Polson

    In 2002 council officials quoted a tunnel figure for Yell sound of £75 million, Yell residents thought that price extreme and sought information from Norway.
    The Norwegian tunnelling figures were indeed £26.9 – £32.5 million, the council officials dropped their figure to £35 million, the previous S.I.C. head of finance James Gray said a figure of £37.1 million was spent on building the present Yell sound service, this appears to be a similar level of outlay as was received by freedom of information.
    The figure they gave for building a Whalsay tunnel at that time was £95 million which later rose to £130 million in 2010, Whalsay residents who thought that price extreme; sought a tunnelling price from Norway, the price received was £52 million for a tunnel to Whalsay.
    Had they built tunnels to Yell, Whalsay and Unst at 2004 tunnelling prices of £5000 – £5500 a metre the outlay for the three tunnels would still have been less than it has cost to build and run the Yell sound service alone for the past 14 years.
    Strange how history repeats with some of the same council officials still in office.

    William Polson.

    Reply

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