Final tally of those opposed to coastguard plans is more than 12,000

The total number of people across Orkney and Shetland who have put their names to a protest against plans to close Lerwick’s coastguard station is 12,589.

The “fantastic” total is made up of 2,740 people who signed an online petition and 9,747 signatures made on paper petitions that have been placed in shops and businesses across the isles.

There were also 102 respondents to The Shetland Times coupon which ran for several weeks after the consultation began in December.

On top of the signatures there have been 3,836 “likes” to the Facebook campaign – although some of those may well have also signed a petition.

Campaigners fighting to save the Knab Road unit from closure will present the petitions to shipping minister Mike Penning when he visits the Lerwick station on Thursday.

As part of the proposals either Lerwick or Stornoway station faces closure, while the surviving unit will be left to operate during daylight hours only.

Mike Smith, of Save Our Coastguard, said: “It’s a fantastic total, we’re really pleased. I’d like to think that it demonstrates it’s not just us making a fuss – that it is strength of feeling in depth.”

He stressed the campaign was still carrying on.

Anyone wanting to raise issues should contact isles MP Alistair Carmichael, or Mr Penning himself.

People can also respond to the transport select committee, which is holding an inquiry into the proposals.


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