NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Probe into Orkney ferry passenger walkway issue

Hamnavoe

Engineers in Orkney are investigating what caused a failure of the passenger walkway used to get on and off a ferry.

The Stromness walkway - for the Serco NorthLink ferry Hamnavoe - suffered damage after an apparent failure of its control system earlier this month.

Foot passengers, including anyone with mobility issues, are temporarily boarding the vessel through its bow door - normally only used by vehicles.

It is understood the equipment could take many weeks to repair.

The walkway is owned and operated by Orkney Islands Council.

'Self-destruction'

Graham Sinclair, the chairman of Orkney Islands Council development and infrastructure committee, told BBC Radio Orkney: "The system failed to respond to the over-drive controls, and it was a sort of self-destruction, if you like.

"It caused significant damage by trying to extend too far.

"It's specialised kit, so any replacements will have to be made to order. I would really hesitate to give any estimate of the expense other than to say it will be very expensive."

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