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Shetland to Gills Bay ferry?


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#1 Scorrie

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 02:56 AM

I have my own opinions, but what do others think about this idea?

 

 

http://www.shetlandt...ay-john-tulloch

 



#2 Ghostrider

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 04:11 AM

I won't dismiss it out of hand, there are numerous pros and cons and a hell of a lot of "ifs", and it would all need believable ballpark numbers to play with, and fuller research on the practicalities.

 

Mininmising the sea distance and travelling time makes sense, linking it in to Orkney and their existing service would make a certain level of sense too, but is the market big enough, or could it be grown to make the infrastructure and upgraded boats needed a viable investment, and if it could, is there going to be any cost to the existing service in terms of reduced sailings/capacity, increased fares etc, is just the beginning.



#3 Colin

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 10:09 AM

Sounds like a plan but, why Sumburgh?

 

Better option might be Scalloway/Lerwick.  Much more "central" and already has much of the infrastructure needed.

Might add a little to the travel time but, would be a much more attractive proposition in so many other ways.

 

Just wonder if anyone would take a punt on it..


Edited by Colin, 13 November 2016 - 10:10 AM.


#4 Ghostrider

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 11:22 AM

^ Sumburgh would cut an hour /25 miles off the trip. I guess it all comes down to how much importance the potential customer base value minimal sea time/cost. Grutness probably has potential without having to spend a king's ransom, as does Broonie's Taing. I suppose if you wanted to go for maximum viability you could consider incorporating the Fair Isle service in to it, but practicalities....practicalities....practicalities....


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#5 Wheelsup

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 12:01 PM

Sounds like a plan but, why Sumburgh?

Its similar to flying. one of the major problems in shifting to a more northerly airport was an almost 25% increase in fuel plus wear and tear costs,   adds up to a considerable  amount over a year. However I think Grutness might just not be suitable weather-wise as well as the cost of providing a ro ro harbour



#6 RileyBKing

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 12:14 PM

Personally I would much prefer Invergordon as the mainland destination, much better location than Gills bay for onward travel connections whether it be passenger or freight, and costs for new infrastructure to handle the ferries should be limited.



#7 George.

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 12:51 PM

Personally I would much prefer Invergordon as the mainland destination, much better location than Gills bay for onward travel connections whether it be passenger or freight, and costs for new infrastructure to handle the ferries should be limited.

 

Trouble with that is the increase in distance of about 50% again. That will cause the ticket price to rise markedly.


Edited by George., 13 November 2016 - 12:52 PM.


#8 Ghostrider

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 01:56 PM

However I think Grutness might just not be suitable weather-wise as well as the cost of providing a ro ro harbour

 

Depends on whats being planned, remember that this as an idea is equally likely to be an "and Northlink" thing rather than instead of.

 

Grutness can be less than a fun place to be when you get a good going SE'r for sure, but Broonie's Taing is no better, and there's not much else in the sooth end to work with. There nothing on the west coast south of Scalloway, and while Aiths Voe might well be sheltered enough, its only gaining 10 mile over the toon, and I have no clue what it could cope with as regards maximum draw, but I wouldn't expect it to be all that much.



#9 Symbister

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 04:46 PM

The idea (which certainly isn't new) is predicated on being able to offer two round trips from Shetland to Gills Bay in 24 hours.  That seems over-ambitious, even in summer, and certainly if fuel use is to be reasonable.  I think the record for the Lerwick-Kirkwall crossing is 4 hours 20 minutes (on the occasion of the opening of the Hatson terminal by the Wessexes), but that was only achieved by using an eye-watering amount of fuel, with the ship operating flat-out at 25 knots. The current Lerwick-Kirkwall leg, timed at 5.5 hours, involves sailing at around 22 knots.  Even going at that speed, Gills Bay is at least an hour beyond Kirkwall; Grutness to Gills Bay is likely to take 6 hours, to which you need to add two turnarounds.  

 

Particularly in terms of the tourism market, there are certainly arguments for a better link to Orkney and the Highlands, and with some adjustment to the timetable and (without requiring an oil well) it might be possible to fit in a summer daytime return to Kirkwall on those days when the ship isn't departing Lerwick for Kirkwall the same evening.  The departure from Lerwick to Aberdeen might have to be put back a little (and arrival at Aberdeen possibly relaxed) if the fuel cost was to be reasonable.  But that would probably be do-able, and would link in with either of the Pentland Firth crossings for people who wanted to go or arrive that way.  As with the Grutness-Gills Bay option, the benefit would be that  no sleeping accommodation would be needed, so the cost would be far lower. 

 

But the trouble with any daytime crossing arrangement is that any journey (even to Inverness, never mind farther south) becomes pretty long.  We're looking at around 9 hours from Lerwick to Inverness, 12 - 13 to Aberdeen, Glasgow or Edinburgh.

 

I can see an argument for an overnight service from Lerwick to either Invergordon or (assuming a suitable terminal) Inverness, possibly calling en route at Kirkwall.  Either, but especially Inverness, would be better than Caithness for foot passengers in particular (with reasonable, and improving, rail and bus links).  That route would also be far more comfortable than Aberdeen in most wind conditions, especially, of course, westerlies. 

 

One thing that always strikes me when in Orkney is just how different their world feels compared to ours: up to around ten return crossings a day to the mainland in summer, via three routes, plus the Aberdeen link; and no need to pay for berths or pods except on Kirkwall-Aberdeen.

 

I see the idea of a 120-mile tunnel from Japan to South Korea is under consideration again.  Noo dan...


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#10 ll

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 07:32 PM

Upgrade A9 and tunnel to Orkney?

 

Not greater fantasy than giving Northlink £0.8m - every week?



#11 Ghostrider

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 07:34 PM

Alternatively you could consider making Kirkwall the southern port of call, it would give us a far more viable link to Orkney, and time the trips to link in with current Pentland Firth crossings, with folk either driving or being bussed between the boats.

 

How discouraging the hassle of changing boats might be is anyone's guess, but it would give more viable crossing times.


Edited by Ghostrider, 15 November 2016 - 07:34 PM.


#12 CrashBox

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 10:05 PM

Just found this thread after reading today's news regarding fares on Northlink Ferries. This sounds really interesting and given that the chap behind Pentland Ferries is having a brand new vessel built to go into service next year, and the company will be given a subsidy, then great. I'm all for it.  



#13 MuckleJoannie

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 10:25 PM

I used the St Margaret's Hope to Gills Bay ferry a few weeks ago. Gills Bay is literally in the middle of nowhere. OK if you have a car but damn all use if you want to use public transport. At least Scrabster is next to Thurso.



#14 Spinner72

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 05:03 AM

This is the thing so oft overlooked about the current service, the fact you can leave Shetland after work, have a neeb, and wake up the next morning right next to a major travel hub is so convenient. You can even get a bus direct from the terminal to the airport if you are flying on.

 

Why anyone would rather travel during the day then face all that extra hassle is beyond me I'm afraid.



#15 engineer21

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 11:08 AM

its a book well worth a read, shows some seriously corrupt goings on in the OIC,