Ferry link saved with cash boost

THE future of a ferry service between Essex and Suffolk is secure for the next three years thanks to a £60,000 cash boost.Essex and Suffolk County Councils have agreed to give £10,000 a year each for the next three years towards the running costs of the Harwich Foot Ferry.

THE future of a ferry service between Essex and Suffolk is secure for the next three years thanks to a £60,000 cash boost.

Essex and Suffolk County Councils have agreed to give £10,000 a year each for the next three years towards the running costs of the Harwich Foot Ferry.

The ferry, which operates between Harwich, Shotley and Felixstowe, starts up for the season on Good Friday under the new ownership of Harwich seaman Alan Sage.

Mr Sage said the county councils wanted the service to operate for at least five months a year, not just during the summer school holidays, which is when the ferry is most profitable.


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"It's the support of Essex County Council and Suffolk County Council which is keeping the ferry going. It's them that have kept the service afloat," said Mr Sage.

Over the winter Mr Sage has refurbished the 11-metre beach landing craft, which can seat up to 12 passengers either inside or on deck.

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New pontoons are being built at Shotley, with £150,000 of funding from the East of England Development Agency, through the Haven Gateway Partnership and Harwich Haven Authority to replace rickety old landing piers.

The service will start on April 9, and run throughout the four-day Easter bank holiday period. It will then operate weekends only until the first May bank holiday when it becomes a daily service.

As well as trips from Harwich to Shotley and Felixstowe, Mr Sage will be running harbour tours, which take in the spectacular cruise ships at Parkeston.

"I'm looking forward to the start in three weeks time. I've always been involved in the sea and operating boats out of Harwich Harbour," said Mr Sage.

At the moment the ferry lands on the beach at Felixstowe, but Mr Sage said future redevelopment at Felixstowe could include landing infrastructure at Landguard terminal.

Ferry fares start from £2.50 for a one-way trip from Harwich to Shotley for concessions.

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