THE CURRENT contract to operate the Northern Isles Ferry Services network by Serco NorthLink Ferries Ltd will be extended by three months until 31 January 2020. This follows further engagement with the European Commission over the on-going complaints from Pentland Ferries.
The extension will ensure continuity of service in the short term. It will also allow the process with the European Commission to be concluded before the award of the next contract.
Serco NorthLink Ferries remain the preferred bidder for the next contract to operate the Northern Isles Ferry Services network.
From January 2020, islanders will be able to enjoy a 20% year round discount on cabin fares on Aberdeen, Kirkwall, Lerwick routes, and benefit from a three year fares freeze for passengers, non-commercial vehicles and cabins on those routes.
The new Northern Isles contract will deliver other benefits including the flexibility to allow timetabled freight and ferry services to be amended to better reflect changes in demand across the year and from sector to sector.