The Fleetwood to Knott End ferry service was re-launched today to the delight of passengers on both sides of the estuary.
Read more: www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/ferry-hopes-remain-in-spite-of-setback-1-9021233
Ferryboat Wyre Rose made her first sailing in months after contractual wrangles held up an earlier hoped for a re-launch earlier this year.
A statement from Wyre Council said: “Wyre Council is delighted to state that the protracted negotiations were completed earlier this week and the service can now commence.
“Wyre Council and Lancashire County Council working with Wyre Marine Services, who had successfully operated the ferry for over 11 years, will continue to operate the service to enable residents to travel across the Wyre estuary from today.”
Coun Peter Murphy, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economic Development commented, “We’re pleased that this announcement could come following such uncertainty 12 months ago.
“It has been down to a great deal of work from officers at Wyre Council and Lancashire County Council, Wyre Marine Services and the backing of members that the ferry can continue to provide a vital service to residents and visitors to Wyre.”
The council said the ferry will operate under an eight year contract, offering a year round, seven day a week service, similar to the previous service.
Lancashire County Council has agreed to contribute to the running of the ferry service on a 50:50 basis with Wyre Council for the first four years, after which it is hoped the ferry will be self-sustaining.
In addition, they will provide the ferry to the successful operator under a mortgage arrangement whereby the vessel will become the responsibility of the operator and its ownership transfers to them in full at the end of the eight year contract period.
County Cllr Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: "We've been working very closely with Wyre Council and operators to look at how we can continue to provide this service in a more efficient and cost-effective way.
"I'm very pleased that this hard work has paid off and the ferry is now back in the water to provide journeys year-round for residents and visitors."
The ferryboat recently passed its annual inspection and service from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
A statement on the ferry’s Facebook page said “Today's sailing times will be 8:15 till 15:15. Future sailing times will be published as soon as they become available.
"Due to contract restrictions we were not able to announce this any sooner than we have. For any inquiries regarding the ferry from this point forward please do to hesitate to contact us on this page, or alternatively give vessel's master a call on 07793270934.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their patience during the past 2 months, and those at Wyre Borough Council and Lancashire County Council for all their efforts to get the ferry back operating again.”
To view the ferry timetables and find out more information visit www.wyre.gov.uk/ferry