The Orkney inter-island transport network consists of a combination of ferry and air services, connecting 13 islands with Orkney mainland. These lifeline connections support the economies of Orkney’s island communities as well as providing personal accessibility to employment opportunities and access to key services such as education, health and leisure opportunities.
Whilst the network continues to deliver high-quality lifeline connections, ageing assets and limitations associated with the current service in terms of for example frequency, length of operating day etc, has led to a need to consider the future of the inter-island transport network at a strategic level. Recognising the need to modernise and develop the network, the Council and partners commissioned the Orkney Inter-Island Transport Study (OIITS) to develop and appraise options for the future enhancement of the inter-island transport services.
The purpose of this study was to determine the appropriate level of service for each island / island group and the cost implications of this. The multidisciplinary study team, led by PBA, has developed, appraised and costed a set of capital (e.g. vessels, harbours, fixed links, airfields and aircraft) and revenue (e.g. additional sailings and / or flights) options. These options are based on identified transport problems within each island.