Campaigners launch petition to save ferry
A petition has been launched to gather support for the under-threat Fleetwood to Knott End ferry and to try and prevent it being lost.
The long-term future of the ferry is still unclear and will remain in limbo until after the Lancashire County Council elections on May 4.
Campaigner Claire Rimmer-Quaid, from Knott End, set up the paper petition, Save Our Ferry, and copies of it are now available in Fleetwood and Knott End.
She is hoping as many people as possible can sign the forms and they will eventually be sent to Lancashire, Wyre and Fleetwood Town councils to demonstrate the scale of need for the service.
Claire, 45, a charity worker, said: “This ferry is absolutely vital to Fleetwood and Knott End.
“There are people in Knott End and Over Wyre who actually rely on the ferry to get them to their doctors’ appointments in Fleetwood. It’s a lifeline to them.
“It’s also vital as a tourist attraction for Fleetwood and Knott End. We must try and make sure it is not lost forever and that some suitable funding arrangement can be found.”
Question marks were first raised over the service after Labour-led Lancashire County Council announced 18 months ago that it could no longer afford to share the financial burden of the amenity with Wyre Council, due to savage Government cutbacks to its own funds.
The two authorities were paying £70,000 each.
It is understood that two bidders have come forward to run it and are being considered, although Wyre says the applicants will struggle to be able to run the service without County funding.
The service is currently run by Wyre Marine and the service is still running each day, up to the elections at least.
However, with county funding having run out on March 31, skipper Tony Cowell says the ferry prices have had to rise in the last few weeks, with an end to concessions and every passenger now having to pay £2.
But he said: “The support has been amazing - we had 300 passengers on Easter Sunday alone, with one family spending £20 each way.
“It’s a vital lifeline to people.”
Save Our Ferry has its own Facebook page and paper copies can be signed in Fleotwood at the North Euston Hotel and the Ferry Cafe on The Esplanade, and in Knott End at the Bourne Arm pub, the Post office and throughout the village.