NorthLink boss confirms cut to concessionary rate

Serco NorthLink has confirmed this week that fare discounts for pensioners, disabled people and students have been reduced from 25 to 10 per cent.

At a meeting of the external transport forum in Lerwick today, NorthLink managing director Stuart Garrett said that the 10 per cent discount had been specified in their contract.

He also reminded the meeting that this concession applied over and above the island discount, and that those entitled to it already received two free return trips each year.

More details will follow in Friday’s paper.


Add Your Comment
  • Iona Graham

    • March 27th, 2013 18:40

    Correction, you only recieve the two free trips until you are 18. Students such as myself who are over 18 don’t get any. Being a student is expensive enough without this. Looks like my trips home are about to become very sparce. Serco can apologise to my family for that screw up.

  • Layla Sawford

    • March 27th, 2013 20:54

    I agree with the comment above. As a student by the time I have paid my rent, food bills and fares to college I have very very little left. I don’t have parents who can pay for my fare home. Students are already in a precarious situation financially so this adds another cost we can do without. With the introduction of added chairs, leaving very little space for anyone with a sleeping bag to get a proper sleep, there is just no way we could ever afford cabins now. I know profits need to be made but the introduction of certain new elements to the northlink service are ridiculous and feel that we, as islanders, are unable to say anything because we have no other choice. Quite literally we are being taken advantage of.

  • Jimmy Nicholson

    • March 27th, 2013 22:00

    Good. It might make some of these part-time students more likely to get a job, like everyone else that’s worth their space on the island.

  • Gordon Laurenson

    • March 28th, 2013 11:47

    MORE profit for Serco. The supposed generous 20 percent discount to islanders still brings the food dearer than this time last year.The pint of discounted beer last Thursday night was £2.99, by Sunday £3 taxman’s pennies going to Serco. They are going all out for profit without any thought for the Islanders or trying to encourage the tourist industry.

  • David Spence

    • March 28th, 2013 12:12

    Rather disingenuous of you Jimmy. I can totally see where the students are coming from. But it is not just students who will suffer, in light of Serco reducing the islanders rate from 25% to 10%, but everybody will suffer, including the disabled and pensioner’s.

    Serco, to put into a nutshell, are purely in it for maximizing their profits regardless to the consequences their actions have on the people of Shetland.

    I would love to know how on earth Serco, whose experience in dealing with cruise/freight ships and alike is very limited indeed, managed to get their hands on the contract for Shetland and Orkney?

    They have, literally, put the price of most things related to the boat up and reduced any concessions and services we islanders may be entitled too. I would like to know why Serco should have any say in a matter that is directly related to the Scottish Office?

    All I can say, Serco do not give a damn about Shetland or Orkney, all the care about, like ALL CAPITALISTS, is profit, profit and more profit at any cost (Capitalism brings out the worst in human nature : Greed, Lying, Cheating, Deceiving, Exploiting, Killing, Dishonesty etc etc……and before anybody says, NO! I am not apologizing for what I have just said)

  • Ali Inkster

    • March 28th, 2013 14:53

    Socialism or Communism have never had acolytes involved in any of those vices but Uncle Joe did kill anywhere between 18 and 30 million of his own people much more than even the Nazis, maybe you would like to apologize for that instead. get over yourself David.

    It was a left wing Scottish government that foisted this company and Calmac before them on us and if we continue to let them they will screw us even more in years to come.

    Yes you may consider our councilors to be incompetent fools but lets be honest the standard of politician in Edinburgh and London is probably even worse and certainly less accountable to us here in Shetland.

  • Michael Grant

    • March 28th, 2013 15:42

    Just booked a return boat and cabin 140 quid,flights for same date 130quid,boat is better this time for me as travelling with golf clubs which will cost 30 quid excess baggage flying.There now who is ripping who off!

  • David Spence

    • March 28th, 2013 15:50

    Yes Ali, Joseph Stalin was indeed a tyrant and he did persecute and murder many people under his rule……..even, like for like, US Foreign Policy (funding wars or providing weapons, assassinations of Heads of State, Sovereign Rulers, Diplomats, putting into power tyrants to exploit a countries natural resources, cheap labour and exploitation etc etc as well as taking part in conflicts) has been responsible, since 1945 in 76 conflicts with over 57 million people being killed…..and counting…Iraq and Afghanistan, over 1.2 million so far…….putting that aside

    I do agree with you Ali, in that the, if one can express it this way, caliber of our politicians, not to mention our Councillors, is something to be questioned as to their motives in what interests do they truly represent. One has to question whether it is for the greater good or moreover, nowadays, for the individual person to benefit regardless to the consequences onto the majority (again, a trait from Capitalism, this being ‘ Look after Number 1 mentality ‘ ‘ Selfishness ‘ which is becoming more prevalent under this despicable Tory Government) of people under their constituency or above.

  • rosa steppanova

    • March 28th, 2013 21:41

    About a month ago I was given a categorical assurance by Serco/Northlink boss Stuart Garrett that there would be no fare increases for islanders.
    Reducing the concessionary discounts for pensioners, those in full-time education, and disabled passengers by 15% is a fare increase through the backdoor – for those wo can least afford it.
    This is not the only price hike since Serco took over the North boats, as the January to April low season has been reduced by 8 days, and the spring mid season by three weeks.

    This time last year, I would’ve paid £264.60 for a return trip to Aberdeen with a car and a share in a two-berth cabin. Under the new regime, the same trip (with a 10 rather than 25% discount and slipped under the radar from low into mid season) adds up to £381.96.
    I probably won’t be able to afford breakfast on board, as a bowl of cereal with milk now costs £7.96 (islander discount deducted).
    Serco, who recently reported a 27% rise in profits (The Guardian, Business Section, 5.3. 2013), is turning our lifeline service into a lifestyle service.

  • Darren fullerton

    • March 28th, 2013 22:54

    At da same time michael, when you tak in ta acount da £20 you’re going to spend fur a couple oh pints your’e tae and miby a cheeky peerie night cap and da loss oh you’re evening both wys i find it a no brainer ta get da plane.

  • David Spence

    • March 29th, 2013 1:31

    ‘ Just booked a return boat and cabin 140 quid,flights for same date 130quid,boat is better this time for me as travelling with golf clubs which will cost 30 quid excess baggage flying.There now who is ripping who off! ‘

    Michael have you also included onto your trip on the boat the price of a meal, breakfast and more than likely the odd drink? I would add an extra “20 or so to cover these as well…….unless you are bringing your own food and drink with you, which, based on the rip-off prices Serco are charging, I wouldn’t put it past you to bring onboard………before Serco ban passengers from doing this in the name of profit lol

  • Michael Grant

    • March 29th, 2013 10:54

    Exactly,i fully intend on eating and having a good scoop on the boat both ways infact,no other than going for a meal then a spree on a saturday night except i wake up in aberdeen.Accept what we’ve got or do the other the thing and fly.

  • john mcphail

    • March 30th, 2013 10:36

    Of course Serco os trying to maximise profits. Don’t all companies? In fact isn’t this a legfal requirement (to look after the interests of shareholders) of all businesses?

    Shetland is renowned for it’s business creation. Of course they are all created for the benefit of society. Profits and money making never comes into it.

    I’m being facetious but c’mon, let’s grow up.

    If you have an issue over the ferries (which get a huge subsidy as we all know) is that the EU is the true reason why these contracts have to go out to tender.

    The moaning (which was around and aimed at P&O and the Northlink too) should be aimed at the system which takes control out of the hands of national government.


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