Concerns raised over cruise ship passengers 'cycling in long lines'

Shetlanders said it was difficult to overtake cyclists due to the length of lines, with one instance featuring 50 cyclists in a group.

Fresh safety concerns raised over cruise ship passengers ‘cycling in long lines’ on Shetland roads iStock

Fresh safety concerns were raised among islanders this week around cruise ship passengers cycling in long lines on Shetland’s roads.

The issue created discussion on social media earlier this week when passengers disembarked the Aidavida on bicycles after it docked in Lerwick on Monday.

The point many were making was on safety grounds, with drivers finding it difficult to overtake due to the length of the lines.

There was also concern about safety of oncoming traffic when vehicles do overtake cyclists.

In the post on the Shetland Road Conditions Facebook group, there was also a claim that in one instance there were around 50 cyclists in a group.

Shetland Islands Council’s environment and transport committee chair Moraig Lyall said it was good more passengers were keen to explore on bikes, “but ensuring that this doesn’t unacceptably impact on other road users is important”.

“I would encourage the LPA [Lerwick Port Authority] to ensure that cruise passengers are well briefed about cycling in Shetland, potentially encouraged to try different routes and the size of groups managed.

“But equally drivers have to show courtesy and care when encountering these groups. They are only expected on around a dozen or so days this year as not all cruise ships carry cycles.”

In response Lerwick Port Authority reiterated it is not directly involved in organising cycle tours which are managed by cruise lines, “only a few of which provide these activities on a limited number of days in the season”.

A spokesperson added: “The authority encourages participation in small groups following different routes in promoting green travel while following the Highway Code.”

It appears Orkney is one step ahead than Shetland, with the neighbouring islands experiencing the issue repeatedly over recent years.

Guidance and information packs are now being issued to cruise liners planning to carry out cycle tours in Orkney this year.

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