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Heoga40
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Glipper wrote,

Its not as simple as that if you reduce the crews on the ferrys they have to reduce the passengers they can carry if you go from 5 to 4 crew on the ferrys you go from being able to carry 125 passengers by law to 50..

 

This isnt acurate as Western Ferries on the Clyde only have 4 man crews and there ferries can carry up to 220 passengers.

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The truth is we have a Rolls Royce ferry service in Shetland.

 

Would the likes of Fair Isle, Skerries, Foula and Papa Stour not be okay with one return trip to the mainland per week?.

 

Or, why not have the Filla doing a weekly round Shetland service?.

 

Monday Fair Isle, Tuesday Foula, Wednesday Papa Stour and Thursday Skerries.

 

Similarly, would one of the super ferries doing a shuttle service on Yell Soond not suffice?.

 

It may have escaped your notice, but as far as I understand it (and correct me if I'm wrong), Fair Isle does only have one return trip per week during the winter already as it is. In really crap weather, they might not even get that.

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Glipper wrote,

Its not as simple as that if you reduce the crews on the ferrys they have to reduce the passengers they can carry if you go from 5 to 4 crew on the ferrys you go from being able to carry 125 passengers by law to 50..

 

This isnt acurate as Western Ferries on the Clyde only have 4 man crews and there ferries can carry up to 220 passengers.

 

I think the Mousa Ferry only has two of a crew but can sail with 60 passengers?

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The truth is we have a Rolls Royce ferry service in Shetland.

 

Similarly, would one of the super ferries doing a shuttle service on Yell Soond not suffice?.

Well some of the time perhaps. But for a large part of the day the ferries are running with over 50% of the vehicle deck in use which would mean that with a single ferry being used vehicles would get left behind. And remember that the timetabled service for most of the busy parts of the day is in effect a shuttle service anyway.

 

Would also mention that a single ferry breaking down means no ferry.

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The fact is that the current ferry service costs a huge amount to run and in the current economic climate, just isn’t economically sustainable. Just as we have heard in arguments about the need to keep schools or social care services or the museum just as they are, leaving the current ferry service alone will mean that something else (which someone, somewhere will value just as much) has to suffer disproportionately by bearing a bigger brunt of the cuts.

 

We have to end up with cuts that still provide what islands "need" to keep them alive.

 

I agree – the question is whether the current level of service is what the islands ‘need’ or whether it is just fine for the islands to have. I would have thought that the priority needs to be retaining a level of service that is affordable for islanders, regular commuters and island businesses and that there is sufficient frequency and capacity at times when demand is highest. I’m not convinced that at some times of the day and on some routes, the level of service that is currently provided is necessary to fulfil those requirements or that some of the cuts being proposed will result in the kind of economic meltdown that some folk are predicting.

 

Well some of the time perhaps. But for a large part of the day the ferries are running with over 50% of the vehicle deck in use which would mean that with a single ferry being used vehicles would get left behind. And remember that the timetabled service for most of the busy parts of the day is in effect a shuttle service anyway. Would also mention that a single ferry breaking down means no ferry.

 

One of the proposals being mooted is to have the two Yell Sound ferries running at the morning peak then just one (presumably with a quicker than current turnaround at each side) for the remainder of the day. The other boat would be tied up at Ulsta and could be brought into service in the event of a breakdown.

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i was looking at it more from the point of view as like going to the mainland on northlink, you cant get on the boat with a car without booking?

 

I thought this was already the case at peak times?

 

I think you dont have to book any ferry but at say 5pm rush hr then if you havent booked chances are ye aint gonna fit on the boat

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Fares will have to go up and up, and up again. As someone said - the ferries are an road equivalent and as we all know it's getting more and more expensive to travel on roads.

 

The cost of fuel is rising every week and that effects ALL forms of mass transport whether that be car, train, plane or the humble SIC ferry. I'm afraid the ferry fares will have to rise and people will just have to suck it up...

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Glipper wrote,

Its not as simple as that if you reduce the crews on the ferrys they have to reduce the passengers they can carry if you go from 5 to 4 crew on the ferrys you go from being able to carry 125 passengers by law to 50..

 

This isnt acurate as Western Ferries on the Clyde only have 4 man crews and there ferries can carry up to 220 passengers.

 

I think the Mousa Ferry only has two of a crew but can sail with 60 passengers?

 

I used to work on the Bressay ferry up untill not to long ago and i think you will find under MCA rules and regulations Glipper was correct with what he has said about passenger numbers here's a link if you still dont believe it have a look at page 3..

 

http://www.shetland.gov.uk/news-advice/documents/ShetlandwideFerryOptions.pdf

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What's clear from the ferry review stuff is that there is a large amount of efficiency/operational savings to be made without ANY effect on the level of service. This is typical of the culture of management in SIC that has become the norm. Even before getting into the next tier of potential service reduction, a large saving can be achieved. Only then do we start to hear of radical options that would alter the service and need a lot of analysis of the effects.

 

Interested in the comment above about crewing on Western Ferries on mainland. Is there some hard evidence/explanation of this? Is there something different in play regarding MCA rules in Shetland waters?

 

The fact remains that the SIC pay better and have better conditions for staff than any comparable service in the land. That's the area that has rthe most cost, followed by relentlessly higher fuel

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This is not MCA rules that dictates the crewing on SIC ferries, its SIC policy.

 

The MCA don't dictate the crewing on the SIC ferries but they do dictate how many passengers they can carry with a 5 man or 4 man crew its on the wall in the saloon of the Leirna stating how many passengers they can carry..

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Just a thought but how much input have the crews had in finding ways to cut costs?. Or to increase revenue?. Might well be worthwhile having a way for all crew members to contribute (anonymously) to the next round of consultation. And why not extend this to all the staff involved in ferries from directors to tea boys (if such people exist)?.

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With current daily ferry capacity more than adequate to completely evacuate the island being served, but still not adequate at peak time, can demand not be regulated by peak/off peak (even free off peak may be cheaper than having to run and crew two ferries) pricing.

 

If you compare levels of service to Orkney, it would seem prices here are up to one sixth of their cost and roughly four times the level of services exist to comparable islands.

 

http://www.orkneyferries.co.uk/

 

With stop start technology saving lots of money to car users, it would doubtless save loadsamoney puting out ropes so as propulsion systems can be taken off load or shut down?

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If you compare levels of service to Orkney, it would seem prices here are up to one sixth of their cost and roughly four times the level of services exist to comparable islands.

 

http://www.orkneyferries.co.uk/

It is all well and good trying to compare Sheltand's ferries with Orkney's but the plain truth is that at some time in the past the then SIC took the decision to integrate the main islands with mainland Shetland. Maybe right or maybe wrong but the simple truth now is that a drastic cut in services will lead to depopulation and unemployment in the isles. If the new SIC decides that it simply cannot afford to maintain anything like the same level of services then they need to be aware of what the outcome will be and to do whatever they can to minimise the collapse of the island economies.

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