Some bus passengers are becoming increasingly frustrated over the lack of facilities at Lerwick’s Viking Bus Station.
The removal of an attendant, followed by the closure and sale of the left-luggage building caused controversy and now the long, open-ended shelter has come in for criticism.
Magnus Ratter, who travels to Lerwick from Urafirth in Hillswick, usually once a fortnight for errands, says the shelter is not functional. He said it offers no real protection from the elements, especially with a south-easterly wind blowing directly on to the structure and it is without any form of seating.
Mr Ratter would like some action now as it is “pretty grim” in winter.
He said the shelter was: “Just a thing parked up against da waa … you canna even git ahint it for shelter.”
He says since the demise of the left-luggage service he sometimes has to stand waiting for a bus for two hours unable to go and do something else because no luggage can be left unattended. He says it would be good to be able to visit places like Mareel, and spend a little money around the town.
Mr Ratter says he has also seen tourists who are unable to leave their bags and go and explore while waiting for a bus. He believes leaving luggage unattended is inviting crime and having somewhere secure to leave messages is not much to ask.
Carn Simmons from Shetland Islands Council said the shelter was “configurated” for disabled access and children’s buggies and it was possible that “the issue of protected fronts will be revisited”.
As to the future, Natalie Ho from the Great Wall Restaurant upstairs, who is opening up a cafe on the ground floor, spoke to The Shetland Times this week.
She said it was her hope that work on the downstairs area, with the left luggage, waiting room and cafe, would be completed by the end of the year. It was just a question of chasing up builders and painters.