NorthLink pod petition sent to ferry boss

A petition to replace the pods on the NorthLink ferries has been submitted to the managing director after more than 1800 people supported the cause.

Sarah Stove, from Lerwick, sent the petition to Stuart Garrett for consideration last week and is waiting for a response.

Ms Stove said that despite the support she has for the petition she felt nervous because of the responsibility.

She said: “I just wanted to get it done, I felt like I was on autopilot really. 

“I am proud and my friends are too but at the same time I’m also nervous, I feel like it’s a big responsibility.” 

The aim of the petition is to take away the pods which are “not fit for purpose” and replace them with something more suitable.

Many people have commented on the petition, detailing why they have signed the document and many are not willing to use the reclining sleeping station.

Alan Tulloch, of Orkney, commented: “They are absolutely rubbish. I often sleep on the ground in front of the pod.”

Mary Watt, from Lerwick, also said: “I’m not a good sailor so have to be in a horizontal position to cope, which isn’t possible with the existing pods.”

In recent times, the ferry service has been criticised for overcrowding, with pictures being branded “unacceptable” by Isles politicians.

A ban on shared cabins has also led to solo passengers feeling like they are being treated like “second class citizens” while they travel, having to use pods or sleep in corridors.

Ms Stove’s petition is mainly to replace the pods with something that is more comfortable and acceptable.

However, in her petition she suggested a couchette may be a better option than the pods currently used.

Mr Garrett has went on record in the past supporting the controversial sleeping facilities which are used in the passenger ferries.

In December, Stuart Garret highlighted figures showing the popularity of pods.

He said they were a “competitively priced alternative” to cabins, adding: “So despite what some people might say there is a demand and we have significant satisfaction ratings for both cabins and pods.”

NorthLink have again been approached for comment.




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