Bring back the Brenda (Ronnie Williamson)

Tunnels to any island would cost millions, would take years to complete, and would be paid for as in Norway by tolls.

As far as Bressay is concerned the isles would be an annexe to Lerwick with houses all along the west face of the island, as building land is scarce in Lerwick. Do the Bressa folk want that?

I would say as a footnote: Bring back the Brenda. She always sailed and was regular, and even in winter the Norna took over and she was regular too. Some folk on the island won’t remember any of those ferries.

So, cash-strapped council, I doubt no tunnels or bridges.

Ronnie Williamson
1 Colonial Place,


Add Your Comment
  • Michael Garriock

    • October 30th, 2017 15:09

    Meanwhile ferries and their associated infrastructures and management/admin are paid for from “tolls”, commonly known as “fares” and “taxation”.

    Tunnels are perhaps initially more costly, but do (should) not need to be renewed every 20-30 years starting the lion’s share of the investment process anew. It would be quite enlightening to see a 60 or 90 year costing to see which option works out cheapest in the long term. Sometimes you have to invest considerably more heavily initially to make the long term killing, and cash strapped or not (they’re sitting on quite a packet one way and another, it all depends on accessibility), the SIC, like most public bodies has significant and largely guaranteed borrowing capability.

    Covering Bressay with houses is entirely the choice of Bressay landowners, and whether they are willing to sell plots for that purpose. Whatever their decision, its their’s to make, not ours. Its nobody’s business but the Bressay folk’s whether they decide to remain a rural setting, or evolve in to urbanisation.

    • Allen Fraser

      • October 31st, 2017 8:26

      Councillors away in Edinburgh with the begging bowl will stramp da bizzy for a dim and a day afore they get any change from the ferry-godmother. They should borrow the money and build the tunnels. They will need to borrow a lot less than the hundreds of millions Shetland Charitable Trust have said they will be borrowing to build their windfarms.

  • David Spence

    • October 31st, 2017 0:40

    The Bressay Tunnel/Bridge situation has been going on for years. However, one would have to ask ‘ Would the benefits of a tunnel outweigh the present situation of using the ferry? ‘.

    Should we ask the people of Burra and Trondra whether having a bridge is more beneficial than having to use a boat, in today’s progress?

    Overall, I would say having a tunnel would certainly be more beneficial to Bressay, in terms of economics, increasing the population (justifying more investment by the Council) increase the value of property, maintenance of services becoming cheaper and easier, attracting more business investment, reduced Council costs of education in terms of schooling, saving money which would have been on a ferry, maintenance and wages going onto investment on the island and no doubt a few more advantages.

    I would say the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

    All of this put off because ‘ we want the status of being an island ‘ ? Aren’t Burra and Trondra still islands?

  • Johan Adamson

    • October 31st, 2017 8:35

    Its surely up to the Bressay folk

    They could always also bring back the J Wills chain link ferry idea

  • Robert Wishart

    • October 31st, 2017 11:24

    The poor old “Brenda” won’t be back. She was gifted to the amenity trust and is rotting into the ground at the Staney Hill. Pity as she was a more interesting (and useful) vessel than the ex-Oceanic lifeboat the “Norna” on which so much money was wasted (sorry, spent). Back to the point: look to the long term and go for tunnels.

  • Paul Dalley

    • October 31st, 2017 13:29

    Back when all this started it would have cost around £1 million to bring a tunnelling machine to the islands once there the cost to dig a tunnel is negligible now you are looking at about 100 times that cost but in my eyes it’s still worth it as will outlast any bridge built

  • Barbara Johnson

    • October 31st, 2017 16:29

    I think the Island of Unst should be first in line for somone has had many waits trying to get out of Unst its sorely needed.should be a tunnel fund set from the interest of the chairity trust coppers


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.