NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Serco to get Northern Isles ferry contract by end of March

Northlink ferries Image copyright Northlink

Serco NorthLink will be awarded the next contract to continue Northern Isles ferry services by the end of March, it has been announced.

Serco won a six-year contract in 2012, and was named the preferred bidder in September.

Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse said outstanding issues had all been resolved.

The £345m contract includes a 20% discount on cabin fares on Aberdeen-Kirkwall-Lerwick routes.

There is also be a three-year fares freeze for islander passengers, non-commercial vehicles and cabins on those routes.

Mr Wheelhouse said: "We can now start to focus on the award of the new contract and the benefits it will bring to the communities that are served by these lifeline ferry services.

"We want to support key sectors of the Northern Isles' economies, such as tourism, fishing, food and drink, aquaculture and farming."

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