Cruise Arrivals


Council shares hopes for new internal ferry fleet

Chairman of Orkney Islands Council’s development and infrastructure committee, Kristopher Leask.

Efforts to replace Orkney’s internal ferry fleet have taken a step forward, as Orkney Islands Council (OIC) has confirmed the types of vessels it is looking to source.

Today, Tuesday, June 4, elected members on the local authority’s development and infrastructure committee discussed a report in private about a ferry replacement programme.

After the meeting, a spokeswoman for the local authority confirmed that councillors supported recommendations that will see a programme of works carried out to develop a final business case for new boats.

The committee heard that, following a review of the existing outline business case, the current proposals are for three large (up to 60m) monohull ferries to serve the outer isles (Westray, Stronsay, Sanday and Eday), using the existing pier infrastructure.

A similar vessel in size and type is proposed for the South Isles, thereby increasing capacity for Hoy and Flotta and allowing interchangeability of fleet across the network.

The infrastructure requirements and final vessel design for the South Isles network will be considered following the next phase of works.

In addition, two smaller dedicated vessels would be provided for Papa Westray and North Ronaldsay and Graemsay and North Hoy.

Two medium sized vessels would be provided for Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre and for Shapinsay.

These proposals would require harbour infrastructure works, including the provision of tidal based ro-ro hard ramps with no linkspan in North Ronaldsay and Papa Westray.

Under the next stage of the proposals key pieces of work will be carried out over the next year, including vessel design, ground investigation, hydrographic surveys, hydraulic investigations, and engineering designs.

The proposals, including the proposed programme of works, are subject to external funding being secured and further consultation will be carried out with the communities to update them on the proposals.

Councillor Kristopher Leask, chairman of the development and infrastructure committee, said: “Today marks an important step forward in our ferry replacement programme.

“Looking forward to an extensive programme of works, the committee agreed both high level principles and next steps. I look forward to continuing to work with partners in the community and with our island communities alongside the committee.”