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More passengers taking to the seas on NorthLink ferries


By Ali Morrison

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NorthLink Hamnavoe
NorthLink Hamnavoe

Serco NorthLink Ferries has seen an increase in passenger numbers between Scrabster and Orkney since lockdown started to ease.

The firm, which plans to open bookings for 2021 from October, said there were strong signs of recovery during August.

It saw passenger numbers across all routes at 43,918 between March 22 and August 31, compared with 218,138 over the same period in 2019, a reduction of 80 per cent. However, during August alone there were 23,060 passengers compared to 52,705 in August 2019, a decrease of 56 per cent.

Similar improvements were seen in car volumes, with a 74 per cent reduction since March moving to a 41 per cent reduction in August.

Stuart Garrett, Serco’s managing director of NorthLink Ferries, said: “Since mid-July, we have seen volumes begin to increase and that trend has continued throughout August which is encouraging.”

He added that freight volumes had remained strong throughout the pandemic, as services continued for key workers and essential travel.



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