A NEW minibus service is to be introduced in Bressay to help provide a more flexible public transport system on the island.
Councillors approved spending £35,000 on the service – a seven-seater vehicle which could take passengers to and from the ferry.
The council will also look at running the ferry an hour earlier, following complaints some islanders have to spend a night away from home if they want to catch the first morning flight from Sumburgh.
The infrastructure committee also agreed on Tuesday to provide £7,000 requested by Royal Mail for the running of the post bus on the island.
The news comes just weeks after provisional plans for a new tunnel stretching 1,200 metres were revealed.
If given the go ahead, the first cars could be using the tunnel in just over three years.
But while attention has been fixed on linking Bressay with Lerwick, the committee heard the question of public transport in the island itself had been woefully neglected.
The Bressay STAG appraisal carried out by the council’s transport service found that per head of population the island’s community makes two to three times more trips to the mainland by vehicle than Whalsay and the North Isles.
The community in Bressay are hugely dependent on the ferry to access employment, education, health and shopping.
Councillor for the area Caroline Miller said the move was good news for Bressay folk.
“It would make the most immense difference to folks’ lives on Bressay,” she said. “It will change the way we live on the island.”