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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-16207: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 26 April 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to investigate the options that are available to address the reported growing capacity problems on the lifeline ferry routes to Shetland, including considering whether new larger ferries should be provided.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 8 May 2018

The Northern Isles Ferry Services (NIFS) Study report was published on the Transport Scotland website on 25 April. The Study assessed the potential impact of reduced passenger and car fares and considered supply-side options to provide additional capacity to alleviate the expected demand pressures, such as additional daytime sailings.

Options for the Aberdeen routes appear to be challenging with the existing tonnage. However, once members of the NIFS Study Working Group have formally responded to the report we will work with them to consider the next steps for the future of the services and to identify affordable longer-term solutions to the capacity issues. This includes consideration of all possible options.

Transport Scotland works closely with the existing operator and industry to ensure both current and future demand can be met.