NorthLink’s U-turn on couchette proposal

THE PLAN to create extra sleeping space on NorthLink ferries in the form of couchettes has been abandoned.

NorthLink bosses last year suggested the idea of a dormitory of 32 basic bunks in the reclining seats area of its ferries as a means of addressing the chronic shortage of sleeping accommodation in peak periods. But the plan has been found to be not cost-effective.

A statement issued by NorthLink said: “A feasibility study into the installation of couchette berths on the passenger ferries Hjaltland and Hrossey has highlighted difficult cost issues.

“As part of the study, NorthLink surveyed passenger opinion about possible couchette berths and carried out a detailed examination of costs.

“All of the relevant data has now been reviewed and it has become clear that it is unlikely that the revenue from the sale of couchette berths would cover the total costs by June, 2012 when the contract to operate the ferry services comes to an end.” NorthLink chief executive Bill Davidson said: “This is a disappointing outcome as we know that for some of our passengers the couchettes would have offered a welcome alternative for overnight accommodation. However, the sums don’t quite stack up.”


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