15th November 2018
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Final tally of those opposed to coastguard plans is more than 12,000

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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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About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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