Council to be asked to delay decision over new Whalsay ferry terminal

Josie Simpson. Click on image to enlarge.
Josie Simpson. Click on image to enlarge.

Shetland Islands Council is to be asked to delay its decision over which voe in Whalsay the new £10 million ferry terminal should be built in.

At a well-attended public meeting in Symbister on Thursday night it was agreed more information was needed to explain why the council now considers the existing confined harbour at South Voe to be capable of safely accommodating a new terminal and a super-ferry the size of those used on Yell Sound.

Until the infrastructure committee met earlier this month the community had understood that the agreed policy was to build a new harbour from scratch at the nearby North Voe.

But councillor Josie Simpson from Whalsay persuaded the committee to opt for the existing harbour because it forms the hub of the community.

The switch has sparked a protest from opponents, including from some ferry crewmen and skippers past and present who fear a larger ferry will often be forced out of action due to the dangers of entering the tight harbour entrance and channel in bad weather.

Mr Simpson was in Edinburgh on Thursday but one of his fellow North Isles councillors, Laura Baisley, attended the hastily organised Whalsay Community Council event.

She said today that those present wanted the decision delayed for further consultation and more information about why the South Voe option was now being favoured as well as technical information about the ferries to be used and how the service will function.

The issue is due to be debated at the Full Council in Lerwick on Wednesday.


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