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Council leader praises NorthLink for ‘stepping up to the plate’

MV Hamnavoe will be carrying out additional crossings between Orkney and the Scottish Mainland following the grounding of Pentland Ferries’ MV Alfred.

Serco NorthLink Ferries has been applauded for “stepping up to the plate” and adding an additional crossing between Orkney and the Scottish Mainland to it’s timetable.

This follows the temporary suspension of all Pentland Ferries sailings, due to the grounding of MV Alfred on Tuesday afternoon.

Leader of Orkney Islands Council, James Stockan praised the company for this, and said he looks forward to Pentland Ferries “getting back on their feet.”

The extra return crossing is intended to help support residents and visitors whose travel plans have been affected by sudden reduction in crossings to the mainland.

From Thursday, July 7, to Tuesday, July 12, the MV Hamnavoe daily passenger service will move to a revised timetable to help accommodate passengers:

  • Stromness to Scrabster sailings will run at 6.30am, 11am, 4.45pm and 9.15pm
  • Scrabster to Stromness sailings will run at 8.45am, 1.15pm, 7pm and 11.30pm

NorthLink is in discussions with stakeholders and the local community around providing further support thereafter, until the Pentland Ferries service is operational again.

Stuart Garrett, Serco’s managing director for NorthLink Ferries, said: “We hope the additional round trip we’ve introduced will help those whose travel plans have been affected to reach their destination safely. We are in close contact with the local community and will continue discussions around how we can support travel on this route.”

Councillor Stockan has praised NorthLink’s response, saying: “To lose one route into the county in the height of our tourist season is hugely problematic — for visitors, locals and of course local businesses, who could have been severely impacted by freight and delivery issues.  NorthLink Ferries stepping up to the plate proactively to fill that gap is fantastic  — and we look forward to Pentland Ferries getting back on their feet in due course.”