The Shetland Islands has nine inhabited islands outside the Shetland Mainland.
These islands are connected by a combination of air and ferry services, and the assets which make up the internal transport network (aircraft, ferries, ports/harbours, and airfields) are, in many cases, reaching the end of their operational lifespan. So, the Council commissioned a study to create a network development strategy for the next 30 years.
Our first step was to review the service delivery (infrastructure, operations, and finance) and the service context (market analysis, consultation, timetables, services, and the baseline and planning horizon). Having established the baseline, we then set objectives at the network and island level and developed and appraised options for improvements.
The shortlist options were taken out to consultation on each of the nine islands, and after further development, an initial network strategy was published in 2016. The study provided the basis for successfully securing additional funding for the costs of ferry services of £5.0 million in 2018/19 and a further £5.2 million for 2019/20.