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Draft Local Transport Strategy - Have your say on strategy for a sustainable and green future for transport

Date: 30 November 2023

Scene of Kirkwall harbour and Orkney Ferries vessels

Orkney Islands Council is calling for comment on its new Local Transport Strategy, which sets out ambitions for an efficient, accessible local network which contributes to net zero as well as supporting the economy and wellbeing of our islands.

A consultation on the draft Strategy will run from now until 12 January 2024.

The Council’s Transportation team and supporting consultants have worked extensively with colleagues and stakeholders to develop draft policies in the following key areas:

  1. Decarbonisation
  2. Active travel
  3. Public and community transport
  4. Inter-isles connectivity
  5. Roads and parking
  6. Harbour infrastructure
  7. External ferry services
  8. External aviation Services

This sits under an overarching ambition for the Orkney transport network - that it “allows people and goods to get where they need to be safely and efficiently in ways that improve people’s health and wellbeing and in a way that contributes to the journey to net zero.”

Councillor David Dawson is Chair of OIC’s Development and Infrastructure Committee: “Transport touches all our lives. It affects our life chances, livelihoods, our health and wellbeing, our climate and our communities.

“Social inclusion cannot be achieved without transport that enables everyone to participate fully in the opportunities Orkney offers.

“But we must now also change the way people and goods move in response to the climate emergency. Transport emissions reduction will be crucial if we are to meet commitments to net zero.

“This strategy sets out the policy direction that supports tackling inequality and accessibility alongside climate action, and acknowledges the significant shift we must make in several areas of transport if we are to collectively prosper.

“We’ve worked with a number of stakeholders to develop this Strategy, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise, HITRANS, NHS Orkney, Orkney Renewable Energy Forum, Destination Orkney, Voluntary Action Orkney and the Community Planning Partnership Delivery Groups - and with projects developing strategies with crossover on themes such as poverty, active travel and carbon reduction.

“Our Community Councils through the Transport Forum have helped over the years with their detailed knowledge of communities and transport challenges - and will be another vital sounding board during this consultation.

“It’s absolutely vital that we take the Orkney community with us on this journey through change, so I hope everyone will take the time between now and 12 January to dip into the Strategy in the areas that interest them, and have their say on the policy direction and ambitions within.”

A report on community and consultee feedback is planned to be presented to Councillors in March 2024.

Corporate Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Regeneration for OIC, Gareth Waterson, said: “The draft Strategy is intended to be a strategy for all communities and for all users: those travelling to, from and within Orkney.

“We’ve strived to ensure it is a strategy for the whole transport system, both people and freight - considering why we travel and how those trips are made, whether by walking, wheeling, cycling, and travelling by bus, ferry, car, lorry, or aeroplane.

“Orkney is a dynamic, diverse, enterprising and resilient place. Throughout our history, we have responded to challenges and opportunities with innovation and determination, and these are responses we will need to call upon again as we work towards a low emission transportation network which meets the future needs of our communities and economy.”

The draft Strategy can be viewed on the Council website at (and from the Related Downloads link on this page.)

Hard copies are also available on request (see contacts below).

Comments and suggestions should be emailed to the Transportation Service at or posted to:

LTS Consultation

Transportation Service

Marine Services and Transportation

Harbour Authority Building

Scapa, Orkney, KW15 1SD

  • Summary:

    Orkney Islands Council is calling for comment on its new Local Transport Strategy, which sets out ambitions for an efficient, accessible local network which contributes to net zero as well as supporting the economy and wellbeing of our islands.

  • Category:
    • Consultations
    • Transport
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