Is Fleetwood to Knott End ferry deal dead in the water?

The Fleetwood Knott End Ferry
The Fleetwood Knott End Ferry
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The future of the Fleetwood to Knott End ferry has been called into question amidst suggestions that the new contractor has pulled out.

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Last month, Wyre Council announced the ferry was to enter a new eight year contract with Wyre Council and Conservative-led Lancashire County Council, with agreement struck with an as yet un-named operator.

The deal was said to have saved the ferry after a year of uncertainty and political arguments between the Tories and Labour.

But this week there have been rumours and postings on social media that the deal with the contractor is off.

Wyre Council would not confirm this, however.

A spokesman said: “The tender process has not yet concluded. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment at this present time.”

But Fleetwood councillor Lorraine Beavers, leader of Wyre’s Labour group, said there been a deal struck in 2016 between Wyre Council and the then Labour-led County Hall to keep the ferry going. The Wyre leadership later denied this.

Coun Beavers said this week: “I am very angry about this uncertainty, because a better deal had been struck before the Conservatives even came to power in May.

“At that time there had been two tenders and the Labour leadership at Lancashire County Council had offered to gift the ferry boat to the successful tenderer, not a mortgage arrangement like this latest deal.

“Under this new deal, there has only been one applicant, which runs the risk that if there is a problem, there is no one left to run the ferry.

“The Conservatives have simply used the ferry as an election tool and put politics before the people of Fleetwood and Knott End.”