NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Payment settles long-running Shetland bridge wrangle

Shetland Islands Council has agreed to pay Lerwick Port Authority £4.8m to settle a long-running dispute over a bridge.

The port authority was forced to call a halt to its dredging plans for the north harbour in 2005 after the council won an interdict to stop the work.

The local authority had argued that the dredging would damage plans to build a bridge to the island of Bressay.

However, a judge later ruled that the work should go ahead.

The north harbour was eventually deepened at a higher cost than originally planned. The bridge was never built.

Inquiry call

The port, which had to pay compensation to contractors, originally sought £5.85m from the council but an out of court settlement has now been reached.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has called for an inquiry.

He said: "People across Shetland deserve hard answers why so much money was spent achieving absolutely nothing.

"The council have to investigate that, we all have to learn what went wrong and we need answers at a time when big cuts are being made to essential public services, including ferries that we all depend on."

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