Relaunch for ferry linking two counties

THE ferry service linking Suffolk and Essex is relaunched today after it was given a £60,000 boost.The Harwich to Shotley ferry will serve Harwich, Felixstowe and Shotley and there will be a special service throughout the four-day Easter holiday.

THE ferry service linking Suffolk and Essex is relaunched today after it was given a £60,000 boost.

The Harwich to Shotley ferry will serve Harwich, Felixstowe and Shotley and there will be a special service throughout the four-day Easter holiday.

The service is run by Harwich Harbour Ferry Services in partnership with Suffolk and Essex county councils and they have both agreed to give £10,000 a year for three years towards the running costs.

Julian Swainson, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, said: ''The ferry service provides a vital link between Felixstowe, Shotley and Harwich and is a real alternative to long journeys by road for both tourists and regular commuters. The partnership agreement between ourselves and Essex county council will safeguard the foot ferry service for the next three years.''


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Richard Gravatt, Essex's passenger transport strategy manager, said: ''Essex is very pleased to join with Suffolk in supporting this service, which provides benefits for local residents in both counties and for tourists who visit the area.''

The ferry carries a maximum of 12 passengers and the journey times are between 10 and 15 minutes. There was an increase in passengers by 20% in 2003 compared with 2002 and Alan Sage, of Harwich Harbour Ferry Services, said: ''I am looking forward to providing the ferry service linking Harwich with Felixstowe and Shotley. Passenger numbers have grown and the service is proving popular with leisure and business people.''

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After this weekend the ferry will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to May 1 and then there will be a seven-day-a-week service until September 12.

Over the winter Mr Sage refurbished the 11-metre beach landing craft. 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 old landing piers.

The ferry currently lands on the beach at Felixstowe but future redevelopment at the port could include landing infrastructure at Landguard Terminal.

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