Bressay Link Study (2007)

Towards the end of 2007 people across Shetland were invited to express their opinion as to what should be the long-term transport link between Bressay and Mainland Shetland.

This was the first stage in a study 'To identify means of providing sustainable efficient transport links between Bressay and Mainland Shetland for the long-term and identify the most appropriate measures to carry forward to implementation for the benefit of Shetland as a whole.'

This study was agreed by a group representing ZetTrans, Shetland Islands Council, Lerwick Port Authority and Bressay Community Council. It is being led by ZetTrans, in accordance with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).

In developing Shetland's Transport Strategy, ZetTrans heard:

‘…that there is a need to draw a line under the previous debate over the proposed ‘Bressay Bridge’ and to revisit this issue with a fresh pair of eyes. ZetTrans acknowledges this and proposes to initiate a ‘Bressay Link’ study examining all possible future options to provide an efficient link between Bressay and Lerwick, whether this is in the form of an improved ferry service, a bridge or a tunnel. This study will be undertaken in accordance with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) and will be taken forward by ZetTrans in co-operation with SIC and LPA.’

The purpose of this first stage of consultation was to understand what problems, issues, opportunities and constraints people feel the transport link between Bressay and Mainland Shetland should address.

The first stage consultation report is available here:

The study moved on to develop objectives that the link must address. A long-list of options was appraised against these, with some options sifted out. The remaining options were then taken through a broad appraisal against national and local objectives. This STAG 1 Report can be found here:

The remaining options received more detailed appraisal against the objectives, with the findings and recommendations of the study reported to ZetTrans (26th May) and the Council's Infrastructure Committee (10th June). The STAG 2 Report is available here:

  • Front and Contents
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction - providing information about the report, the background and study area.
  • Chapter 2 - Methodology - sets out how the study has been undertaken at each stage and how stakeholders were involved in the tasks.
  • Chapter 3 - Analysis of Issues, Problems and Opportunities - the issues, problems and opportunities associated with the Bressay
  • Link was obtained from a consultation exercise carried out with the Bressay community, businesses and services, and from businesses and services operating on Mainland Shetland, as well as from individuals and representatives elsewhere in Shetland.
  • Chapter 4 - Objectives - sets out the national and local planning objectives for the study.
  • Chapter 5 - Option Generation and Sifting of Option - a long-list of options was generated by combining possible solutions put forward
  • during the initial consultation phase and additional options proposed at the ‘Option Generation and Initial Appraisal’ Workshop
  • Chapter 6 - Broad Appraisal - information on all those options taken forward to broad appraisal; and the conclusions made as a result of the Broad Appraisal.
  • Chapter 7 - Options - detailed information on all of those options taken forward to
  • detailed appraisal.
  • Chapter 8 - Environment - summarises the environmental baseline for the STAG options and an environmental appraisal of the potential impacts of each option.
  • Chapter 9 - Safety - presents a safety appraisal of the potential impacts of the fixed link options and the reconfigured ferry option is presented against the Do Minimum.
  • Chapter 10 - Economy - Transport Economic Efficiencies - assessment of the economic impacts of the STAG options, in terms of potential transport efficiencies that could be made. The assessment provides a measure of the contribution a transport proposal could make to social economic welfare as represented by the costs and benefits incurred by users and operators of the transport system.
  • Chapter 11 - Economy - findings from a qualitative review of the identified economic need for a new transport solution and the likely economic impacts from the options proposed.
  • Chapter 12 - Accessiblity and Social Inclusion - current baseline information relevant to access. An appraisal has been made of the potential impacts of the fixed link options and the reconfigured ferry option, compared against the Do Minimum.
  • The relevant sub-options for public transport have been taken into account.
  • Chapter 13 - Integration - describes the current levels of transport integration and appraises the potential integration impacts of the fixed link options and the reconfigured ferry option against the Do Minimum.
  • Chapter 14 - Monitoring - an initial monitoring and evaluation programme has been developed which would be implemented if the preferred option is taken forward to construction. This would ensure that the success of the project against its set of objectives is evaluated.
  • Chapter 15 - Discussion and Recommendations
  • Annex A - References
  • Annex B - Consultation Diary
  • Annex C - First Stage Consultation Report
  • Annex D - Strategic Issues and Objective Workshop Report
  • Annex E - Option Generation and Initial Appraisal Workshop Report
  • Annex F - STAG 1 ASTs
  • Annex G - Drill and Blast Tunnel
  • Annex H - High Level Bridge
  • Annex I - Reconfigured Ferry
  • Annex J - Public Transport
  • Annex K - TEE
  • Annex L - EALI
  • Annex M - STAG 2 ASTs
  • Annex N - STAG 2 Workshop Report

The recommendations were approved in full by Council, and work is now progressing on implementing these.

Anyone requiring any further information is encouraged to phone ZetTrans on (01595) 744868 or email