Orkney bridge plan may end world’s shortest flight

Plans for a multi-million pound bridge between two remote Orkney islands could end the shortest schedule flight in the world.

The air link between Westray and Pappa Westray could be grounded by a scheme to build tunnels, bridges and causeways between a number of Orkney’s islands, the Scotsman has reported.

Councillors have decided to consult with the public over various proposals.

The 1.7-mile journey from Westray to Papa Westray attracts flight fans from all over the world. The record flight time, from the wheels coming up to touching down again, is 52 seconds.

But Orkney Islands Council is now looking at a series of fixed links involving seven islands.

Airfields on Westray and Pappa Westray may have to close as a result.

Plans for a 2.6 mile fixed link from neighbouring Eday are under consideration, along with a number of other ambitious projects.

The council’s development and infrastructure committee also looked at refreshing previous work on a tunnel to Shapinsay, a study into the provision of a fixed link between Rousay and Egilsay and a study into a fixed link between Rousay and Wyre.

Some of the schemes could also include renewable energy generation such as tidal power.

A detailed feasibility study will cost around £245,000 and take 18 months to complete.

Members agreed an amendment to the report’s recommendations, put forward by Councillor Stephan Hagan, that the council progress with community consultation on the links.

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