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The Bressay Bridge


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Do you think we should build a bridge to Bressay?  

118 members have voted

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

    • Yes
      32
    • No
      70
    • We need more information
      12
    • Don't know/don't care
      8


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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 !!

 

Someone will eventually twig that a tunnel is the answer .......

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Someone will eventually twig that a tunnel is the answer .......

 

The LPA will be hoping that no-one twigs that !!! They have complete control over the Lerwick side of the harbour at the moment and no control over the Bressay side. The last thing they want is a fixed link to Bressay.

No doubt if the tunnel option is explored they will be disputing how deep it should be. :wink:

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... and the judge says LPA are entitled to change their plans at any time ...

No, moorit, that's not what the judge stated.

 

It took me hours to go through his ruling (I am not a native speaker, you know) but what he simply said is "that both authorities had to act according to their responsibilities" and "that both the authorities should have known this before" and should have come to an agreement and from the cases he quoted (to read and understand them when following up took me some more hours incl. all the googling ;-) ) he simply judged: "To keep a running business going at its best" is more according / higher valued according to existing laws and sentences than any new idea/proposal that might effect the existing status quo.

 

Read it again and you will find that material matters like height or span of the bridgethe width or depth of the dredged channel etc. had now effect. He ruled quite "formal" in the end: the potential claims of one authorithy against the existing rights of another authority.

 

To me it was a fine lesson in British (case based) jurisdiction. ;-)

 

Sorry for my humble English ... ;-)

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That may well be what he stated, but I was just simplifying the effect of his judgement, so that the layman would understand what had happened, without having to spend hours reading the 60 odd page judgement. :wink:

 

If SIC now press on with the bridge design to fit in with LPA's new dredging plan, it will be interesting to see what happens if LPA decide to change the goalposts again in a few months time.

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Someone will eventually twig that a tunnel is the answer .......

 

The LPA will be hoping that no-one twigs that !!! They have complete control over the Lerwick side of the harbour at the moment and no control over the Bressay side. The last thing they want is a fixed link to Bressay.

No doubt if the tunnel option is explored they will be disputing how deep it should be. :wink:

 

The above is possible, but several factors fly in the face of it. Unlike the Lerwick side which is sheltered from pretty much every direction, much of the Bressay shorleline is exposed to the open sea during SE to S weather, and of the area which isn't, I seem to recall has relatively shallow water in numerous places (I stand corrected if wrong, I'm not a seagoing person, just simply trying to recall best I can what I observed as a teen fooling around in a boat in the harbour a few times). Also, seeing as virtually all of the Bressay shore in question is within harbour limits, would the LPA not automatically have a say, if not complete control, over what changes and developments occured below highest high water? On this point I really haven't a clue, I am simply speculating and asking the more knowledgable than I?

 

It is also worth mentioning I think, that maybe if the SIC had approached this project in what some would see as the most responsible way to do so, and started out from the point of view having the piers on dry land, and the bridge height at a safe margin above the height of the tallest structure likely to use the channel. Then approached the LPA to see how far out in to the channel they would let them come with the piers, and what reduction in height they would permit, then, this whole fiasco was unlikely ever to have arisen.

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That may well be what he stated, but I was just simplifying the effect of his judgement, so that the layman would understand what had happened, without having to spend hours reading the 60 odd page judgement. :wink:

 

If SIC now press on with the bridge design to fit in with LPA's new dredging plan, it will be interesting to see what happens if LPA decide to change the goalposts again in a few months time.

 

I've still not quite trawled through all of that judgement, but I think you've simplified just a tad too much moorit. To me it reads like the SIC have simply disregarded anything that they were being told and pressed on regardless. They have failed to meet the requirements they were originally told were likely to be the minimum they could expect and spat the dummy out when they realised they were up against somebody who would not just roll back and lay over when asked!

 

I also find it very surprising that the whole interdict fiasco was not even a council decision, but was taken by a select few under 'emergency powers'. whoever took this decision seems to have cost us ratepayers a cool couple of million quid! When do we find out who these few were and what are there future promotion expectations within the council?

 

In answer to your last sentence, I think the judgement makes it quite clear that the LPA are quite within their rights to dredge however they see best to benefit the harbour at any time they see fit, but it the SIC press on with plans to build a bridge they need to employ a new shrink!

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^^ Agreed! You have way over simplified things moorit. Muppet portrays a more accurate representation.

 

Simply, this bridge has been an inception way way back in the mists of time.

 

2.1. A bridge to Bressay has been an aspiration of the Council since the mid 1970s and corridors are safeguarded in the current Shetland Local Plan.

 

The SIC appear to have been blinkered by the "need" for the EU funding, by consultation reports that are now refuted, by this desire since the 70's to build a bridge.

 

Lerwick Port Authority are trying to ensure that their harbour stays viable at both ends, now and in the future. Can you fault them for that?

 

The LPA [...] They have complete control over the Lerwick side of the harbour at the moment and no control over the Bressay side. The last thing they want is a fixed link to Bressay.

 

Eh? :? So thats why the LPA have been offering (and paying out of their pocket - not ours) for plans to build a tunnel! Last time I went through a tunnel it seemed like it was permanently fixed at both ends?!! Maybe I was mistaken? Do pray tell, how you build a loose flapping tunnel that you can affix at one end at anytime moorit? That would solve everyones problems!

 

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.

 

Theres many wondering the very same!

 

Could it be asked whether it's not a case of lower minions acting as the driving force with these higher bods taking golden handshakes happy to sign off any particulars? They're out of there soon, so best to let others flourish that can see through the SIC's aspirations of a bridge.

 

Don't forget that it's these "others" in places of power such as within Infrastructure Services etc. that have a lot to answer for too! This ultimately will be laid squarely at the feet of the councillors but they are channeled by those placed in positions of authority who should know better!

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We should build a tunnel.

 

It should be a tunnel rather than a ferry as although the initial cost is massive, it will be cheaper to run in the long run.

 

We should build a tunnel rather than a bridge as the bridge WILL close due to weather. Tunnel closures due to any reason are likely to be measured in hours per year rather than the days and weeks per year that a bridge will suffer.

 

With a bridge you have to have a stand-by ferry and crew. With a tunnel it is no longer a necessity.

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Question.

Assuming that a tunnel would cost about £30M, do you think it should be built by the council, or should we continue with the ferry as is?

 

As proceeding with the bridge option is now looking like costing the council getting darn close to £30M, the question would seem relatively academic. Whatever fixed link may eventually be agreed upon would now seem to have roughly the same price tag, thanks to the council's bumbling and bungling to date.

 

My personal opinion is the present council should shelf the whole idea and leave it to the new council to revist, if they want to. If they do I'd then like to see a proper referendum held in which all eligible Bressay voters had a simple two way choice to make, for fixed link or ferry. If the fixed link comes out ahead then get someone who can actually do arithmetic proficently to sit down and cost it out properly, value for money tunnel against ferry. If the tunnel can be justified economically, go for it, if it can't bury the idea and the whole current pitiful fiasco as quickly as possible and move on....

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I agree with Ghostrider. The present council should do no more and certainly spend no more leaving the new council to decide what, if anything, to do.

 

I will make just two points. Anything that restricts entry to the harbour from either end should not be considered. Lerwick and Shetland need a harbour that is not going to be closed for months because a ship has sunk in the south entrance.

 

If or when it comes down to a debate about the various options including a bridge, a tunnel, the status quo or alterations to the ferry service I do think we have a right to know if anyone taking part in the debate could gain from one outcome. I am of course thinking that land values on Bressay could rise if a fixed link was built but also issues involving planning blight on land that could be used for a fixed link and I guess the ferry crew's jobs.

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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.[/quote

I think they also want to fill in between Greenhead and the Catch pier, giving them a lot more space for decomissioning vessels.

The judge also said that the council have never taken the LPA into consideration with their bridge plans.

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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.

 

I think they also want to fill in between Greenhead and the Catch pier, giving them a lot more space for decomissioning vessels.

 

The judge also said that the council have never taken the LPA into consideration with their bridge plans.

 

I'd tend to agree with the judge, a good anology as I see it would be if a neighbour has tree growing near your boundary, if you object to how the tree's root's are encroaching on your property or how it's branches are overhanging your property, you are within your right to demand your neighbour trims back the roots and/or branches, even if as a consequence the whole tree has to be removed. (At least that is what I'm led to believe, I stand corrected if wrong).

 

In this case, the water in the north harbour is the garden belonging to LPA, and the proposed bridge is the tree on property belonging to the SIC next door. It seems to me that instead of approaching their bridge plans from the point of view "what do we need to put here that will still leave our neighbour adequate space", the SIC have approached it from the stance of "how much can we encroach on our neighbour's space before he cries foul", and as a result are now reaping what they sowed.

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