In 2014 Orkney Islands Council, through the ‘Our Islands Our Future’ initiative, began a dialogue with the Scottish Government on establishing some principles for the ‘Fair Funding’ of Orkney’s inter-island transport services and infrastructure. The basis of these discussions was that the financial burden upon the Council in providing inter-island transport was disproportionate.
Scottish Government accepted in principle that a Fair Funding position needed to be established and, to inform that, Orkney Islands Council and the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS) agreed to undertake studies, now in the form of business cases, to establish and appraise the service and infrastructure requirements for inter-island transport over a 30-year planning horizon.
In October 2015, the Council, in partnership with HITRANS and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) commissioned the Orkney Inter-Island Transport Study (OIITS), with a view to developing and appraising options for the future of the inter-island transport service. The output of the study was the development of a Strategic Business Case (SBC), which established the ‘case for change’ and identified a set of capital and revenue options which, if delivered, would in-part or in-full address the identified transport problems.
The Strategic Business Case (SBC) was completed in Autumn 2016 and set out a range of capital and revenue options for all 13 islands connected by the air and ferry services, together with a timeline for progressing specific elements of the SBC to Outline Business Case (OBC) stage. One of the priorities emerging from the SBC was the development of an OBC for new vessels and supporting infrastructure for the Outer North Isles (Eday, North Ronaldsay, Papa
Westray, Sanday, Stronsay and Westray). To this end, OIC in partnership with HITRANS and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) commissioned Peter Brett Associates (PBA), now part of Stantec, Mott MacDonald (MML) and ProVersa to develop an Outer North Isles Outline Business Case.2. The ONI OBC is a complex piece of work combining both infrastructure and service-related questions. It is thus split into two phases, the first of these considering a set of ‘network definition’ questions and the second establishing the level of service (air and ferry) to be delivered. Phase 1 of the OBC was completed during 2019/2020 with Phase 2 of the OBC to be carried out and completed during 2020.
For the most recent reports please see the external documents link below to the HiTrans website.