New sandbanks choking the dock channel

Jubilee Quay in Fleetwood
Jubilee Quay in Fleetwood

More sandbanks are forming around Fleetwood docks sparking calls for more dredging to be carried out.

Fears are growing that if the lack of anti-stilting work continues, the few remaining fishing vessels which ply their trade from Fleetwood will struggle to get in and out of the docks.

Already the dock channel, which should plough a straight line from the docks out into the Wyre estuary, has become a winding route which is forcing boats wide of where they should be going.

If no dredging is done, it will become even harder to navigate through.

At the far end of the dock channel, new banks can be seen forming and they could eventually choke the thoroughfare altogether.

This week fishing industry scientist Shaun Doran called on dock authority Associated British Ports to resume dredging before it is too late.

And Fleetwood man Mr Doran, from a fishing family, says more pressure should be brought to bear on ABP to do so, as it is directly threatening the livelihoods of those working from the docks.

Mr Doran said: “It’s clear for anyone to see that the silting is getting worse in the dock channel and out in the River Wyre.

“You can actually see new sandbanks forming.

“If ABP owns something which the town relies on, yet is not maintaining it for the businesses which work there, it should be taken off them and given to an other authority to manage.”

Mr Doran claims that the dock channel has not been dredged since Fleetwood Marina was created over 20 years ago, and that is has only been sluiced - which is not as effective

He also highlights the neglect of the ferry terminal since freight firm Stena left Fleetwood around four years.

Fleetwood councillor Ron Shewan agreed that more pressure should be brought be brought to bear on ABP, and said Wyre Council could do more.

Coun Shewan said: “The problems caused by lack of dredging have been going on for years but they will only get worse.

“Wyre Council is on possession of the deeds and covenants that go with the land and I should imagine there are certain requirements and restriction which should be followed.

“More pressure should certainly be put on ABP because the dock channel is just being left.”