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Use of freight ship for Pentland Firth route slammed

Mv Helliar. (Craig Taylor)

The announcement that a freight ship — with no disabled access — will once again serve Serco NorthLink Ferries’ Pentland Firth route while mv Hamnavoe is on annual refit has been widely condemned.

Mv Helliar — which has a passenger capacity of 12 and is not accessible to wheelchair users — will be used between Stromness and Scrabster during the refit period between January 13 and 19.

Terri-Jane White, a UHI student rep with fibromyalgia, was unable to travel on the route in February, due to the lack of wheelchair accessibility during the last refit period.

Expressing her disappointment this week, Ms White raised discrimination concerns against wheelchair-dependant people, while Orkney MP Alistair Carmichael and MSP Liam McArthur also slammed the proposals.

Read more in this week’s The Orcadian.

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