Ferry will not be axed

Pictures Martin Bostock'The Fleetwood Knott End Ferry.
Pictures Martin Bostock'The Fleetwood Knott End Ferry.

THE Fleetwood to Knott End ferry is not at risk, according to those behind a review of the service.

Wyre Council gave the categoric statement following rumours the Fleetwood to Knott End service is to close, after the authority launched a review of the vital transport link.

The council is concerned some residents have misunderstood the reasons behind a value- for-money review on the ferry, which is currently under way.

Wyre insists the review is simply aimed at looking at ways to improve the service.

However, some have come to the conclusion that if Wyre believes the ferry does not offer value for money, it could be either scrapped and replaced by a bus service – or be cut back.

The council is keen to stress this is not the case, and says there are no plans to scrap the ferry service at all.

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Council, has spoken out to quash speculation that the service will be cut.

He said: “I want to reassure residents by stating categorically that the ferry service is not at risk of being shut down.

“We are reviewing all aspects of the ferry to ensure that it represents value for money to residents.

“This will include looking at running costs but also finding out more about the people who use it, how they benefit from the service and levels of customer satisfaction.

“We are not considering scrapping it, to save money or for any other reason.

“We know it is highly valued by sections of the community and an important part of the local tourism offer.

“This review is about making sure that the money we invest, which is a significant amount of the council’s budget, is spent wisely.

“We want to identify where improvements can be made and make sure we maximise the potential of the service.

“We will be talking to stakeholders including Lancashire County Council, joint investors in the service, the contractor that operates the ferry on our behalf, ward councillors and members of the public to get a comprehensive picture of the service at present.”

Councillor Gibson added: “The review will be carried out by a task group of elected members, not private consultants as has been suggested, as part of their roles as members of the council and at no external cost.

“It is vital that we continually review all our services to ensure that they are operating efficiently and delivering value for money to Wyre taxpayers.”