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Island's Ferrys and Tunnels


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Why would you still need a ferry if you have a tunnel ? Private enterprises such as the Havgull or even local fishing vessels could transport this prohibited items you mention. What are they by the way?


Investing in tunnels makes far more sense than turdbines .


Go for tunnels to bressay and yell at the same time and move the yell ferries to whalsay...


Also a bus service ?


Ders already a bus service .


Private enterprise should be taking ower at aa levels......

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You will still need a ferry though, there are prohibited items that cannot use tunnels.


Not according to this




3.17 United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, there are approximately 30 road tunnels with a total length of 27 km.

The tunnels have been constructed over a century and the construction standards vary


There are no general road traffic regulations specific to road tunnels in the United Kingdom.

There are however specific rules for the transport of dangerous goods through some road tunnels.

The three UK toll tunnels, Dartford, Mersey and Tyne, have developed a common policy and

implemented restrictions on the transport of dangerous goods. Also, for some other tunnels rules exist, which vary according to the age and type of the tunnel, and the traffic volume. Modern

tunnels built during the last 20 years operate without any restrictions on the transport of

dangerous goods.

To the extent that rules for the transport of dangerous goods in tunnels exist, they are based on

risk assessment, general experience and advice from consultants. Specific measures are taken for

some of the tunnels to permit the transport of dangerous goods, e.g. escort/convoys and

emergency exercises.

In the United Kingdom, dangerous goods in road transport have until now been defined by using

the UN Orange Book. From 1 September 1996 dangerous goods are defined according to the


There have not been registered incidents involving dangerous goods in UK road tunnels.

One questionnaire was received from Ireland, which does not have road tunnels.

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An upgrade in 2008 and 2009 of the Ellingsøy and Valderøy tunnels was completed on 10 October 2009. The upgrades cost NOK 448 million, which included better fire protection. During parts of the reconstruction, the tunnels were closed and a ferry was put into service from Ålesund to Valderøy and Ellingsøy.[1]

I think they better keep the ramps in working order even with tunnels.

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Hmm, 4 years old, what would be todays cost, for one tunnel?


Depends how long, and who you ask. 10,000 pounds per m?


From 2010:


A SEVEN kilometre tunnel to Whalsay would cost at least between £70 or £80 million, it has emerged after two days of talks with tunnelling experts in Glasgow.


[sIC] meets Scottish finance secretary John Swinney on 21st June. The shopping list for the SNP minister will include seeking not just government backing and funding for a fixed link but negotiating for the 63.7 per cent subsidy provided for the Whalsay ferries to be put towards the tunnel instead.

The law in Scotland will also need to be changed to allow tolls to be charged to help pay for the tunnel, as is done in Norway, Iceland and Faroe – which is currently planning two more privately funded subsea tunnels to replace ferries.


And 2011:


The Whalsay roads have been neglected by the council for over 20 years, when the last Whalsay roadmen were made redundant, never to be replaced. Roads are now maintained here by the rain and wind.


I believe Gussie would stand a better chance of raising the tunnel funds with his £450k in a casino, rather than asking the heads of governments, given the obvious fragile state of the worlds' economy.

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Since I'm being quoted in this thread, here are a few figures worth thinking about in the world of tunneling.


The recently opened Hindhead tunnel is 2 double carriageway tunnels, 1.2 miles long.


It was estimated to cost £270million in 2004, a few years before construction began in January 2007. It was completed in late 2011.


The final cost was £371million.


30,000 vehicles a day use this tunnel.






So estimates can be a few £'s short.

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People, especially the media, tend to conveniently forget the effects of inflation and other market forces when comparing estimates to final prices.


The old adage of "time is money" is so true, especially in the construction industry, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything has been more expensive in real terms.

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A quick note for those who believe those on the outer isles should not have a subsidised ferry link and that they should pay the full market rate as 'they choose to live in a remote place':


That's exactly what folk say in Scotland when being told that they are having to subsidise ferries for those who 'choose to live in a remote place like Shetland'.


As me old dad would say "Think on, lad, think on..."



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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm a regular visitor to Shetland and stay on Unst for a few weeks at a time. Even in summer there's only so much people can do on Unst. I regularly (3-4 times a week) nip over to Yell or Fetlar to see the sights, have some cake, visit the Old Haa, browse the shops and buy petrol. If we were to pay to use Bluemull Sound if would reduce the amount of tourists who would come that far north and reduce the amount of island hopping people do, limiting the spread of wealth n income to local businesses. Residents of the North Isles would have to pay a large chunk of their wages just on ferry transport an could lead to people leaving the islands.

Bridges would be hugely expensive to instal and maintain and could end up costing more in the long run.

Also with bridges the North Isles will lose their *driver perks* of not having to have MOTs and learner drivers will have to be supervised because the north isles will then have a permanent access to Mainland in order to get MOTs done. All the residents who have been driving on the islands as a learner for years or even decades without having passed their tests would either have to find a supervisor, pass their tests or give up driving. Driving is essential up there! For 5 weeks I drove unsupervised on Unst, Yell and Fetlar and it was an amazing experience for me. Without it I wouldn't be nearly as confident or as good at driving. The freedom of being able to jump in a car and go places is amazing. Down here i have a car which I can hardly drive because it's hard to find a supervisor which I need as I'm still only on L plates.

Would you guys want to lose all this for the sake of a bridge/tunnel?

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In the longer term tunnels and/or fixed links is the best option for Shetland, however with the current finances in a pickle and no quick fix imminent, I’d predict that ferries will remain with future service levels much reduced from current levels. Also, in my opinion house prices on Isles could rise if commuting links were fixed enabling seamless 24hr travel (to and from) i.e. the Isles have lots to offer.

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  • 1 month later...

So far two sub-sea tunnels have been built in the Faroe Islands - 'Vágatunnilin' (The Vagar Tunnel 4,940 m. - price £ 28 mio.) and 'Norðoyatunnilin' (The Northern Isles Tunnel 6,300 m. - price £ 39.5 mio.) - obviously a fixed link brings growth to a previously 'isolated' community, but no one could have imagined the increase in traffic caused by the fixed link - f.x. in its last year of operation (2005) the Norhern Isles Ferry carried roughly 100.000 cars between the Northern Isles and the Main Isles, while 6 years later (in 2011) a total of 727.316 cars drove through the sub-sea tunnel (a 700% increase - was the Ferry Service in reality a 'hidden' Bottleneck?) - apart from growth in the local community, the increased traffic has also reduced the average toll prices by 50% (supply and demand), from £ 15 in 2006 to £ 7,5 in 2011 pr. car (return price) - the tunnels are planned to become toll-free within 15 years after completion - a minus is of course the increased car fuel consumption and hence pollution, but ferries (and sea vessels in general) are some of the biggest polluters - so prons and cons....


The Northern Isles Tunnel on Wikipedia




The Faroese infrastructure requires a lot of tunnels



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