The Scottish Government has awarded the contact to provide Northern Isles ferry services for the next six years, worth £350 million in total, to international services company Serco with both present operator Northlink and its predecessor P&O Ferries overlooked along with the other short-listed company, Shetland Line (1984).

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said the new arrangement, starting during the coming summer, will maintain 90-minute services from Scrabster to Stromness; ensure there is no repetition of previous dry dock problems; ensure services are available for time sensitive freight and improve the passenger experience. Serco is expected to use Northlink’s existing three passenger/vehicle ferries and two chartered freight ro-ros.

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