In 1947 R.Robertson Taxi hire was established by Robbie Robertson a Merchant Seaman. Robbie started his business with just one car and gradually expanded by purchasing additional vehicles, which were used for both taxis and self drive hire.
By the 1960s Robbie had been awarded several school transport contracts, which meant Robbie had to invest in some minibuses. In 1973 Robbie's son, Tommy, joined the business and the name became R. Robertson & Son. They purchased a local general merchants shop at Ulsta on Yell whilst also running the transport side of the business.
Sadly Robbie died in 1979 at the age of 54, which left Tommy to carry on the business.
R.Robertson & Son is managed by Tommy's daughter Sonia. Sonia came into the business in 2004 and since then the business has seen its largest expansion.
In the last 75 years the Robertson's fleet has grown to 16 vehicles. In 2008 the garage and transport side of the business was relocated to Westsandwick on Yell. This was followed by the construction of a new large commercial garage in 2009. Robertson's garage on Yell is known as Yell Autos. Here they maintain and service anything from lawnmowers to buses or trucks. Yell Autos is the only motor repair garage on Yell and the only commercial repair garage in the North Isles of Shetland.
Since 2014 Robertson's coaches have had the public service contracts for Walls (service 9), Hillswick (service 21) , Toft evening only (service 23) on the Mainland of Shetland. They also provide the service for the south end of Yell (service 30). Robertson's also run the school contracts on Yell and for Brae High school on Mainland Shetland covering the areas of Mossbank, Toft & Voe-Vidlin transport. Furthermore they provide transport for additional special needs children involving a PVG approved escort and a private taxi.
Robertsons continues to expand and 2016 sees an opening of a new depot for their buses and a garage in Lerwick called Lerwick Autos. There they can provide servicing, repairs, MOT checks for all private and commercial vehicles. Very importantly Lerwick Autos has the equipment to change tyres not only for cars but also for commercial vehicles. Commercial wheel balancing equipment is also available on site. The Robertson's garage business has taken the dealership for major tyre manufacturers in the Shetland Isles, providing tyres direct from Toyo, Vredestein & Continental to name a few! Tyres can be sourced for motorbikes and commercial vehicles as well as cars. In addition to these services they provide four wheel alignment on cars and diagnostics, including tyre pressure monitoring systems.
The Robertson brand is certainly a presence in Shetland, forever developing with modern technologies to keep up to date and provide a service for an ever developing and changing Shetland. Robertsons have established bases in the main town of Lerwick & North at Sellaness, near Sullom Voe oil terminal and the Shetland Gas plant.
Tommy sadly passed after a long battle with cancer in 2018, Tommy always remained positive and knew the company would be in good hands with Sonia’s many years working alongside him. The company has since seen huge expansion in 2020 and are now Shetland’s largest Transport operator. Sonia has many plans for the future and is extremely proud of the company's development over the years. This starting from the vision of a Seaman, Robbie Robertson, and through his ambition from humble beginnings with now three Robertson's services, known as R. Robertson & Son Ltd, Yell Autos and Lerwick Autos. 2022 brought the 75th Anniversary of the company, it all began with a 1930 Humber 15/16 model, registered first in Sheffield and purchased by Robbie for taxis in June 1947. This is the story of a family business being established, nurtured and grown and still owner operated by the same family all these years later. Robertsons is truly driven by experience since 1947.
R.Robertson and Son Ltd Key Staff Members
- Sonia Robertson (Managing Director)
- James Henderson (Engineering Manager)
- Jez Charlton (Office & Accounts Manager)
- Sam Seatter (H & S Manager)
- Alex Johnson (Operations Manager)