Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Papdale Halls of Residence Ferry Disruption Procedures

Procedures to be followed in the event of disruption to Orkney Ferries (OF) sailings impacting on pupils residing at the Papdale Halls of Residence (PHOR).

There are three scenarios covered within this procedure:

  • Early sailing from North Isles on a Sunday.
  • Ferry embarks from Kirkwall on a Friday afternoon and cannot dock returning to Kirkwall with pupils on board.
  • Cancellation of sailings from Kirkwall on a Friday.

Early sailing of North Isles Ferries on a Sunday

If a decision is taken by the Ship’s Master to sail earlier than scheduled from the North Isles on a Sunday afternoon, the following procedure should be followed:

  • OF Marine Superintendent will call the PHOR ‘out of hours mobile’ to inform them of the change and that pupils will be arriving in Kirkwall earlier than usual time to allow staff to open PHOR. The PHOR duty officer will arrange transport (Craigies Taxis) from the pier up to PHOR if can open early and if not pupils should be dropped off at KGS. (Note –KGS is open as a sports facility on a Sunday).
  • PHOR pupils / parents will be encouraged to subscribe to OF ‘disruption messaging service’ which will alert them to any changes to schedule at the earliest opportunity. OF also provide up-to-date information of changes on their website and via Radio Orkney Facebook.

Note: If Marine Superintendent cannot get an answer from the PHOR out of hours mobile he will call Frances Troup on the number provided (with voicemail messages left as appropriate). It will always be the intention that PHOR will be able to open to accommodate the change to timetable. Where the early opening of PHOR is not possible, the pupils should still come in early and go to the KGS as above.

Ferry embarks from Kirkwall on a Friday afternoon and cannot dock returning to Kirkwall with pupils on board

If the ferry has left Kirkwall and cannot dock at the pier the following procedure should be followed:

  • The Master of the ferry will inform OF Marine Superintendent who will call the PHOR out of hours mobile to inform that the pupils will be returning back to Kirkwall and will give an expected time of arrival.
  • The pupils will be informed on the ferry by the Master that this is happening. If the ferry can dock at one island but not at another, pupils will be told that they cannot leave the ferry if it is not their home island. Pupils will be advised that transport will be available for them between Kirkwall pier and PHOR and that a meal will be provided.
  • PHOR staff will arrange for Craigies Taxis to meet the pupils from the pier, arrange evening meal and will inform parents by telephone what is happening.

Cancellation of sailings from Kirkwall on a Friday afternoon

Staff at OF are excellent at informing staff in Education, Leisure and Housing of any expected disruption to services on a Friday at the earliest opportunity. However if the cancellation was not expected and the result of an ‘on the spot’ decision with little to no prior notice PHOR would remain open on the Friday night for the pupils. Parents would be informed by the pupils / PHOR staff of this change at the earliest opportunity.

If the weather forecast is predicting the gales to continue throughout the weekend

It should be noted that the PHOR will not open on the Saturday night:

Where there has been early warning of likely extended period of disruption to services throughout the weekend then the following procedure should be followed:

  • If pupils have another source of accommodation on the mainland for the Saturday night then they can stay at the PHOR on Friday and go to their planned accommodation on the Saturday (PHOR staff will have to be informed of the details of the alternative accommodation for the Saturday).
  • If pupils do not have another source of accommodation they will have to return home on an earlier ferry during the week.

Please note that PHOR’s service is generally designed to be available between Sunday teatime and Friday teatime, while every attempt will be made to provide assistance outwith these hours, sufficient staffing may not always be available and in such situations appropriate alternative arrangements will be made.