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The Bressay Bridge


Do you think we should build a bridge to Bressay?  

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  1. 1. Do you think we should build a bridge to Bressay?

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Why did they not have a refferendom of the Bressay inhabitants if they want it?

The whole situation is a farce!


Way back in the dim and distant past of 2000ish there was a questionaire that went to everybody in Bressay to find out how the bridge would affect them, and the last question was "How do you feel about a bridge?" with a 5 point scale, "very opposed" to "very in favour".


Whether that was enough like a referendum, or whever it should have been a yes/no only option has been debated since then.


At least on those answers it came out about 60:40 in favour of the bridge.

Again, whether that is enough of a margin..... etc etc



But yes, the bridge vs the ferry comes out pretty even, the extra rational for the fixed link is more about savings on other services and the oppertunity to open up harbour development. If the bridge is not built the ferry will continue, and as long as goverment funding does not change then it will not make much difference to what Shetland spends.

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The scariest thing about this whole fiasco is that two bodies like the SIC and LPA, both of whom hold both a considerable amount of power, both practical and fiscal, and whom are comprised mostly of people, allegedly sane, rational and responsible adults, who have convinced the great unwashed to vote them in to their respective positions and roles. Yet, they apparently could find no way of all sitting down and rationally and calmly discussing each others points of view and keeping with it until a mutually aceptable way was found without resorting to throwing legal documents at each other, which has only succeeded in throwing away a frightening amount of money to allow lawyers to get even fatter, which could have been better spent on the project itself.

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^^^ Indeed


And I fear it's not over yet! Sandy Cluness response on radio Shetland was that he'd personally rather not go down the road of appealling "but we're in the hands of our lawyers as far as that goes" If it's down to them, it's obvious they will want to appeal! They'll make a few more millions. Isn't it the job of the Council to instruct their lawyers? Not the other way round.


I also find the last sentence of todays Shetland News report disturbing.




Meanwhile, it emerged, that the council has appealed an application by the port authority to reclaim land for future harbour development from material to be dredged up once the work gets underway towards the end of 2007.


Does that mean the Council are going to object to anything the Port Authority are doing? As far as i'm aware, the reclamation is nowhere near the proposed bridge, so what grounds can they have for that?


The May elections can't come soon enough for me!

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I'm not sure... but the council probably has some say as a coastal protection authority?

So a bloody minded "Well, you can dredge, but you can't dump it on the shore" possition might be possible.

Not sure where the LPA would plan to reclaim land with this, and no idea if that is the SIC thinking though ;-)


I think the reason that there has not been a compromise is that it would cost one or the other, or both, money and maybe mean less benefit to what they want to do. Each side believes they are in the right, and so it goes on....

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Not sure where the LPA would plan to reclaim land with this

There were plans to fill in the area between the Catch pier and the NE breakwater arm at the marina to create more building land for the Catch. Don't know if that's still on the cards though as the Catch may still have court time coming with all the illegal landings, so further expansion may be on the back burner.

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Originally posted here


FORMER Shetland Islands Council convener Tom Stove has called on the authority to abandon the controversial Bressay bridge project.


The Sandwick councillor also called on the full council to a hold a joint meeting with Lerwick Port Authority before deciding whether to appeal last week's legal judgment, which threatens the bridge's future.


On Friday the Court of Session granted the port the right to continue dredging the north entrance of Lerwick harbour, saying the council had no reasonable grounds for objecting.


The ruling by Lord Reed is an embarrassing defeat for the council and its bridge team, and the entire £23 million project has now been thrown into uncertainty.


The SIC also faces a legal and compensation bill from the port authority which will amount to well above £2 million.


Yesterday (Monday) Mr Stove said it was time the stand off was over and the process of reconciliation between the two sides began.


"I think the project should be abandoned and we should, together with the port authority, investigate the possibility of building a tunnel to Bressay," he said.


"When do we stop spending money? We have already spent well in excess of £1 million on the project, and have also lost the European funding as well.


"I don't like to see the SIC and the port authority head to head in this manner. It is not doing anybody any good."


In September 2005 Mr Stove tried to get the council to work together with the port authority to investigate the tunnel alternative, but his move was heavily defeated by fellow councillors.


Meanwhile senior SIC officials spent yesterday (Monday) trying to call off a planned and long awaited meeting between the SIC and the port, to be chaired by isles MP Alistair Carmichael.


Mr Stove claimed this meeting was now more important than it had ever been and it should be up to the elected members to decide whether it should go ahead or not.


"We should have a meeting with the port authority before the decision to appeal the ruling. That would give us a lot more and new information for consideration. Only then should the full council make a decision," he said


The port's board of directors is to meet this afternoon (Tuesday) to discuss their next step in this long running saga forwards.


Tom Stove, now theres a man with some foresight and vision!


Shame the current crop of senior councillors and advisors are blinkered to the point that it is stated they are "trying to call off a planned and long awaited meeting between the SIC and the port"!!


Why are they now trying to call off the planned meeting? Smacks of their real intention was never to go ahead with it; a ruse just to appease the LPA whilst they waited on the outcome of Lord Reeds report, no?


Now they can get down to pressing for their "Special Parliamentary Procedure" through the Scottish Executive to bulldoze through the LPA.


How long is that going to take? With Lord Reeds current judgement and this entire affair now "high profile", I can't see many ministers wanting to have their name associated with it until everthing has been sounded out to the last letter!


Methinks dis brig isna going to cost the small and paltry sum of £19M or is that now £23M, or or .... what was the last reckoning? Now with compensation bills being bandied about and solicitors bills on top it's going to be a right royal project before it's ended!


Visit Shetland: a friendly island where we all get along!

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I haven't heard any call for heads to roll yet. Surely the competence of the Chief Executive and the Convenor are now in question? As Tom Stove says, well in excess of £1 million has been committed in design, feasibility, consultancy, legal fees, etc, as well as the £2 million plus compensation claim from LPA, never mind the fact that £4 million of EU money has been lost out on. £7 million and rising (if they still go ahead with a fixed link).

The elections can't come quick enough and all those councillors who blindly stuck to the policy line despite people like Tom Stove trying to provide an alternative may well be picking up the P45 - unless they have already taken the pay off. Does anybody have info on the voting history of each and every one of them? I know my councillor was one of the brainwashed.

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I think you are highlighting a very valid point there shoogler. If it is becoming clear and apparent that the councillors and council officials involved are acting against the best interests of Lerwick and the electorate, whilst at the same time squandering vast sums local money and resources for a lost cause that should never have reached this situation, then they should be answerable for their actions, should they not?

How it can be prtrayed that they are acting in anyones best interests or value for money escapes me completely now.

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Tom Stove, now theres a man with some foresight and vision!


Sorry Trout, I don't think I've ever seen such a sentence used without a heavy dose of irony, sarcasm or with tongue firmly in cheek before! This is a man who.....hmmm I probably shouldn't end that sentence or else I might get in trouble. I will just say that I disagree somewhat with your sentiment.

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These are obviously not on the subject of this thread - just an interesting aside.






In addition, Mr Stove was also financially involved with the infamous Shetland Weekly. Perhaps he was hoping to get a better press from them, but it was not to be. I wouldn't like to speculate on whether these are isolated incidents.

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Years ago...


SIC...We would like to build a bridge across Bressay Sound with a clear height of 30m and clear span of 140m.

LPA....We are not keen on this, can you make it 40m clear height ?

SIC....OK, but do you realise this makes the height of the bridge similar to the Forth Road Bridge ?


A few months later.....


LPA....We intend dredging the harbour and here is our final plans, showing the dredged channel width at 160m. Oh, and by the way, we maybe want 50m clear height now.

SIC....That's fine we shall adjust the bridge piers to suit the dredged channel, but we are sticking to the 40m clear height.


Quite a few months later.....


LPA.... we have decided to alter the line and width of the dredged channel and unfortunately one of your proposed bridge piers will have to be moved and we also now want the dredged channel to be 180m wide.

SIC...We do not want you to dredge the small bit around the affected bridge pier.

LPA....Sorry we are going ahead with it.

SIC...We have no alternative but to apply for an Interim Interdict to stop the dredging around the location of the bridge pier, but you can go ahead with the rest.


The issue goes to Court and the judge says LPA are entitled to change their plans at any time even although they had signed plans saying that this was their final dredged channel.


So now, even if SIC fit the bridge piers around the latest set of LPA dredging plans, the LPA could come back and say, sorry we have changed our plans and are going to dredge another 5m or so around the proposed location of that bridge pier !!

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