Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 7°C

Search

Foot ferry owners celebrating

PUBLISHED: 16:07 04 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:34 03 March 2010

OWNERS of a foot ferry linking Suffolk and Essex are hoping that a new jetty can be built at Felixstowe to improve the service and encourage more users.

OWNERS of a foot ferry linking Suffolk and Essex are hoping that a new jetty can be built at Felixstowe to improve the service and encourage more users.

Husband and wife team David and Bridget Baines say if a permanent landing point could be built it would make it far more attractive for people to use the ferry for business, commuting and pleasure.

Mr Baines said it would also mean they could use a larger, more comfortable vessel instead of the current craft, which can only carry 12 passengers.

The couple were today celebrating an important boost to the ferry service between Felixstowe, Harwich and Shotley after receiving a £10,000 grant.

However, they say it is still a struggle to run the service – identified as an important transport link by both Suffolk and Essex county councils – and more support is needed for its future to be secured.

"The money is appreciated but we will struggle for the next couple of years and apply for grants from other councils," said Mr Baines, of Wades Lane, Shotley.

"We really could do with a bigger boat as sometimes we have to turn people away if we are full. We need a boat for about 50 people as when Bathside Bay is developed there will be more commuters and it will be busier."

But the couple's hopes of using a bigger boat, especially to dock at Felixstowe, will hinge on a jetty being built.

This scheme is fraught with problems, not least the £250,000 it is likely to cost and who will pay for it, but also that the area near the Viewing Area at Landguard where it could be built is suffering severe erosion problems.

Mr and Mrs Baines took over the service from Chris Spraggons in December 2001. They had previously launched a guided tour of Harwich Harbour and the surrounding area in their boat City of Glasgow II.

Now the foot ferry is taking priority but Mr Baines, 50, said the boat needed repair work costing £15,000.

He added that it currently did not make a profit and money had been lost due to cutting down on the City of Glasgow II tours.

The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) approved the lifeline grant of £10,000 from the Government-funded Market Towns' Initiative budget.

An initial grant of £5,000 has been paid and £5,000 will be given next March.

WEBLINK: www.eeda.org.uk

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists