'˜Behind closed doors' meeting on the Knott End to Fleetwood ferry future

Mystery surrounds a secret meeting about the future of the Knott End to Fleetwood ferry.

Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 11:59 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:49 am
The Fleetwood Knott End Ferry

Wyre Council’s cabinet is likely to go into private session to discuss the troubled ferry service which is due to start sailing under a new contract and new funding regime next month.

Previously the ferry service was supported financially by both Wyre and the county council, but the county has now pulled out of future funding – leaving Wyre as the only subsidiser of the service, though only for the first four years of an eight year contract.

Several months ago Wyre advertised for a new operator, with the deadline for any company wishing to take on the contract being January 23.

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Under the intended new deal the current ferryboat, Wyre Rose, would be given to the new operator.

Details of how many would-be operators had contacted Wyre with a view to becoming the new operator have not been revealed.

There has been speculation a number of tenders and expressions of interest have been made and that they are currently under scrutiny by Wyre officials.

Wyre Council declined to answer several questions on these issues, including how many bidders there were for the ferry contact, a request for confirmation that Wyre would be giving funding to the service for four years and details of the “gifting” of the ferry to the new operator. The council spokesman said the meeting was not likely to be open to the public as exempt information would be disclosed.

Coun Derek Hudson, of Preesall Town Council, said it was vital the ferry could continue as it would leave rural residents stranded if it were to cease.

He said; “Our parish council is considering giving £10,000 towards the ferry, it is vital. Hopefully arrangements can be made which allow it to keep running.”