Bids invited to keep historic ferry afloat

Bids are being invited to keep a vital ferry service afloat.

Monday, 16th January 2017, 1:39 pm
Updated Monday, 16th January 2017, 1:41 pm
The Fleetwood to Knott End ferry
The Fleetwood to Knott End ferry

County Hall funding for the link, a subsidy of £85,000, will end in March.

Lancashire County Council is willing to hand over the boat, Wyre Rose, to any operator willing to take on the service with Wyre Council offering to continue some funding.

And Wyre is hoping bidders will now come forward to take on the link, which has operated for more than a century.

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Coun Alan Vincent explained the authority was hoping to agree an eight year deal with a new operator.

He said: “Tenders are being invited from contractors for a period of eight years commencing on April 1.

“The ferry vessel is currently owned by Lancashire County Council which intends to transfer it to the successful bidder.

“Lancashire County Council has withdrawn its subsidy from March 31 but we are offering a level of subsidy in the hope that the ferry service can be sustained.”

All bids have to be submitted by January 23 and submissions will then be considered by members of the Wyre Council cabinet.

A battle was fought a decade ago to retain the ferry across the Wyre estuary.

That resulted in the commissioning of a new ferry which has been operated, under contract, by Wyre Marine Services.

Last year Lancashire County Council withdrew subsidy for dozens of bus routes including the link between Fleetwood and Knott End.