View Full Version : Concern over ferry breakdown

30-Apr-13, 09:40
Hamnavoe could be confined to port for a month at least

SCOTTISH Transport Minister, Keith Brown has discussed the Pentland Firth ferry controversy with far north MSP Rob Gibson.
Mr Brown was speaking to the BBC following the news that the Scrabster-Stromness ferry Hamnavoe would be out of commission for at least a month with engine trouble.
Serco has said it is trying to find a temporary alternative vessel for the route as a matter of urgency.
The Hamnavoe has suffered a crankshaft and Serco NorthLink say there are no plans to bring in one of its other two ferries.
Orkney Islands Council said that any break in the Hamnavoe is "totally unacceptable".
But Serco said it still had four sailings to and from Orkney, including via Aberdeen. Pentland Ferries have said they can take up the slack with their ferry Pentalina on the Gills Bay-St Margaret Bay route.
Orkney Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme the situation raised serious questions about what was a "lifeline route".
He said:"What people are asking is where on earth are the contingency plans in place to deal with such an eventuality."
Stuart Garret, director at Serco NorthLink, said it would take time to replace the failed crankshaft and options for a temporary replacement vessel were being examined "as a matter of urgency".
Mr Garret apologised to customers but said that if people wanted to get to Orkney the firm could get them there.
He went on: "There is sufficient capacity north and southbound, both on the Pentland Firth and on the Aberdeen route, with our own vessels to accommodate all demand. The demand even at this time of the year - and I acknowledge that it is the early part of the season - still remains fairly light.
Mr Garret said: “The commercial team have carried out a full analysis of forward bookings and we will work with our customers, those who are already booked and those who desire to travel to accommodate them either on our services or to highlight where alternatives are available."
Orkney Island Council said it had discussed the situation with Serco NorthLink Ferries and had also been in contact with the Scottish government.
The council said it did not want an extended break in service on the route.