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Card payments trialled on Bressay inter-islands ferry service could be rolled out to other routes in coming months

17 hours 29 min ago

Card payments are being trialled on the Bressay inter-islands ferry service – with hopes to roll it out to other routes in the coming months.

The SIC announced today (Monday) that customers on the MV Leirna would now be able to pay by debit or credit card

Initially, it had been hoped to trial the payments this summer, but the Covid-19 pandemic intervened.

Other payment options including cash, cheque or account card, will continue to be available.

Passengers can now pay using contactless payments on their card, or on their smartphones, or with chip and pin.

The payment system is designed to accept payments during any point of the ferry journey, but for the time being some payments need to be processed near terminals where Wi-Fi is available.

This includes payments made using young person’s account cards, and the use of Apple Pay or Android Pay.

Once the ferry has left the terminal, there is a maximum transaction value of £50.

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Road closed after failure of parapet

17 hours 54 min ago

A B-road from Weisdale to Sandwater has been closed due to the failure of a parapet on the north side of the bridge over the Pettawater burn.

The council’s roads department has warned there is no access through Kergord between Weisdale and the Sandwater junction on the A970.

All Kergord traffic must use the A971 access from Weisdale.

The closure is necessary in the interests of public safety and will remain in place until repairs can be effected to replace the parapet wall.

Asymptomatic testing launches in Scotland – but unlikely to reach Shetland until New Year

18 hours 16 min ago

A programme of asymptomatic Covid-19 testing is being rolled out to high prevalence areas of Scotland ahead of more widespread usage, including Shetland, in the New Year.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today (Monday) that the Scottish government had begun testing in central and western areas where community transmission of the virus is currently the highest.

“The lessons that we learn from these trials will then inform our plan to expand community testing, much more extensively and routinely, early in the New Year,” she said.

Routine testing of students has also been launched for those hoping to return home for Christmas.

It is hoped the increased availability of routine testing for those without symptoms will help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

However, Ms Sturgeon stressed that tests could only give an indication at a particular moment in time and did not means folk could stop following the other safety measures.

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Woman released on bail

19 hours 10 min ago

A woman has been released on bail after after appearing from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court following an accusation she behaved in a threatening or abusive manner.

Samantha Gibney, 44, of Stura, Tingwall, is charged with entering a house in Burra without any invitation to do so.

She is said to have refused to leave and struggled with an occupant, before smashing a plant pot and repeatedly striking a porch door with a fire extinguisher – brandishing it at her former partner, and threatening him with violence.

Gibney appeared from custody before Honorary Sheriff Eric Peterson on Monday.

Her case was continued without plea until 9th December.

SNP ‘sitting on their hands’ on fish landing Brexit preparations

22 hours 19 min ago

The Scottish government has “no excuse” for being short on vital health inspectors required for post-Brexit checks on fishing catches.

That is the view of isles MP Alistair Carmichael, who says highlighted media reports that the SNP administration has failed to recruit a sufficient number of inspectors.

After 31st December all landed fish to be exported to the EU will require an official health certificate, but the Scottish government is reportedly not up to speed on recruitment.

SNP Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has blamed the UK government for its “pursuit of a hard Brexit”.

Mr Carmichael said: “The SNP are never slow to laugh at the Tories for their lorry queues in Kent but if fishermen cannot even get their fish on the quay in Lerwick or Peterhead because of a lack of health inspectors, that laughter will have a hollow ring to it.

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Police launch campaign tackling anti-social behaviour and alcohol fuelled criminality in run-up to Christmas

23 hours 25 min ago

Police and partner agencies have teamed up to lead a campaign tackling anti-social behaviour and alcohol and drug misuse during the festive period. 

Police Scotland launched Operation Respect across the Highlands and Islands division, including Shetland, last Friday. 

Operation leader Chief Inspector Ian Graham said shops and cafes tended to be busier during the run-up to Christmas and urged folk to be mindful of their own security.

“Criminals can see this period as an opportune time to commit offences,” he added. 

“Ensure to keep an eye on your shopping at all times, keep your bags closed and ensure your purse or wallet is not easily accessible.”

Mr Graham advised people to use cash machines in well-lit areas, shield their pin and put their money and card away as soon as they are done.

He said that as people tend to drink more alcohol at this time of year, they should plan ahead and take care.

Wishart calls for new laws to support victims of domestic abuse

November 29, 2020 | 12.24pm

Shetland’s MSP has highlighted the need for new laws to ensure people are not forced to give up their family home to escape an abuser. 

Beatrice Wishart raised her calls in the “Making Scotland Equally Safe” debate in parliament last week.

She said: “Domestic abuse is a hideous, controlling and often life-threatening crime. This year, lockdown and school closures meant that the availability of safe spaces was massively reduced.

“Domestic abuse is also a major cause of women’s homelessness in Scotland. Women have had to flee their homes in the middle of the night, scooping up children out of their beds, to escape an abusive partner by giving up everything else.

“My party has long sought new legal orders to help to stop that happening, and I am glad that legislative moves are now being made. Staying in the family home should not mean staying with an abuser.”

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Toy Tesla arrives in Shetland to make hospital visits more enjoyable for poorly bairns

November 29, 2020 | 11.51am

A mini Tesla has been donated to enable poorly Shetland children drive themselves for treatment in hospital – rather than being wheeled around in a bed. 

The donation aims to ease the anxiety of young patients and make their visits to hospital more enjoyable. 

Tesla Owners UK, which  made the donation to the Gilbert Bain Hospital, thanked members for their work raising money to buy and transport the cars. 

“This car originated in a warehouse in Nottingham and has travelled by Tesla – and ferry – all the way,” it said. 

“Thanks to Elon Musk, RadioFlyer, members and the general public for their kind donations at our events too,

“Lastly, thanks to Deryn who makes this all possible with her meticulous planning.”

The organisation has partnered with The Christian Blandford Fund to ensure all funds raised through this scheme go entirely towards buying the toy Tesla cars.

NorthLink Ferries said it was “delighted” to assist with transporting the car to Shetland.

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Carmichael calls on government to support ‘enormous’ opportunities of tidal power in Shetland

November 28, 2020 | 1.02pm

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has called on the government to support the commercialisation of marine renewable energy – to make the most of Shetland’s opportunities.

Mr Carmichael spoke in a parliamentary debate, highlighting the Northern Isles’ long history of supporting the UK’s energy needs and its potential as a hub of marine renewables. 

Shetland became home to the world’s first offshore tidal array in 2016 when Nova Innovation installed the first turbines in the array at Bluemull Sound. 

However, Mr Carmichael said the growth of green renewable energy was still frustrated by a lack of opportunities. 

Mr Carmichael said that while  research had been carried out in to the development of wave and tidal power it needed funding to reach commercial deployment.

He suggested an “Innovative Power Purchase Agreement” for marine energy could produce “enormous” opportunities for Shetland and the UK. 

WATCH: Lerwick Power Station’s new engine arrives for installation

November 24, 2020 | 11.07am

Energy company Wärtsilä Energy recently delivered a new engine to the Lerwick Power Station, which is expected to be up and running early next year.

The 100-tonne unit was delivered by boat to the isles, and escorted to the power station by police late at night to avoid disruption to drivers.

Watch the video of the delivery below.

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Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary inundated with calls about grey seal pups following storm

November 23, 2020 | 10.59am

New single from local indie rockers The Stoals

November 21, 2020 | 10.15am

Local indie rockers The Stoals have released their latest single Something Controversial.

The four-piece released the song on streaming services this week, and said on Facebook that they “really do love this song”.

“We feel it’s a real step above the things we’ve done before. Hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we do.”

Listen to Something Controversial here: https://soundcloud.com/callum-anderson-12/the-stoals-something-controversial/s-E7xUMi128qq

WATCH: ‘Wettest day we’ve had in a good number of year’ – drone footage shows extent of flooding in Cunningsburgh

November 18, 2020 | 1.10pm

Alan Adamson has shared his drone footage showing the flooding in Cunningsburgh.

Isles rebranded as ‘Islands of Opportunity’

November 12, 2020 | 2.44pm

Promote Shetland is rebranding the isles as the “Islands of Opportunity”.

Launching with a new logo and video showcasing the best of the isles on Thursday, Promote Shetland said the isles could look forward to “an exciting and prosperous future”.

“It marks a fresh way of thinking and talking about Shetland with a firm focus on the opportunities ahead,” Promote Shetland said.

Shetland can be one of the most exciting travel destinations in the UK, starting from 2021, they added.

Check out the new launch video below.

Shoppers encouraged to ‘Buy Local’ this winter

November 11, 2020 | 9.51am

A new video launched by Living Lerwick is encouraging shoppers to “Buy Local” this Christmas.

The film shows the effect just £20 can have on local business at da street, and urges viewers that if they do not use the shops, they will lose them.

Living Lerwick says the short film “looks at how far one person buying local can support others”.

“When we buy local, we support our local community including friends, neighbours and even family.

“It creates jobs, and allows small businesses to support each other.”

Check out the video below.


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