Concern over ferry review

Shetland is to voice its concern about the continuing delay to the start of a major government review of Scotland’s ferry services. The SIC inter-island ferries board heard yesterday up to three months could be lost due to problems recruiting consultants to undertake the review, which has to be completed by August.

Head of transport Michael Craig­ie raised fears that the government’s determination to meet its deadline could lead to the public consultation phase being radically shortened, leaving too little time for the job to be done properly. He said the review was of vital importance to Shetland because it will shape inter-island and North Boat services for the next 20 years including how ships and ferries are paid for and operated.

The board agreed not to call for the deadline to be extended at this stage but to ask the Scottish govern­ment how it intends conducting the review properly in the reduced timescale. Plans are being made for a meeting about the ferries review in Shetland towards the end of next month.


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