Colchester: New pontoon hailed as boost to the economy

Colchester borough councillor Nick Barlow welcomes the Colne Explorer at the new pontoon in Hythe th

Colchester borough councillor Nick Barlow welcomes the Colne Explorer at the new pontoon in Hythe that will allow boaters to dock. - Credit: Archant

Boaters are urged to take advantage of a new pontoon at Colchester’s Hythe in a scheme designed to boost the economy.

Councillor Nick Barlow, portfolio holder for regeneration, welcomed the Brightlingsea Foot Ferry yesterday after it became the first vessel to use the moorings following the installation of the 42-metre pontoon at King Edward Quay.

Colchester Borough Council oversaw the project as part of the Transcoast scheme at King Edward Quay, which is aimed to boost the economy and make the river more accessible to boaters and residents.

The pontoons will allow small boats visiting Colchester to moor for free and other waterside activities to take place.

They will also help berth the Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners Foot Ferry that links the riverside communities of Brightlingsea, Wivenhoe, Rowhedge and Colchester.

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Mr Barlow said: “The installation has gone really smoothly and we are delighted that residents and visitors will now be able to use the pontoons.”

Constructed using Forest Stewardship Council hardwood decking wood, the flexible nature of the pontoon allows it to settle on the riverbed at low tide.

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Anchored to the river wall by pivoting arms allows easy and dry access for small boat owners and leisure users wanting to come ashore.

The method of fixing, along with the pontoons inherent buoyancy and robust construction, also means it can easily be taken ashore for maintenance if required.

Meanwhile, work has started on the old Hythe Bridge to revitalise the area and create a new public space.

“It is due to be completed by the end of August.

Improvements to the walking and cycling links between Colchester and Rowhedge have also been earmarked.

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