Once upon a time there were two ferries….

The news this week that the much heralded Swansea Ilfracombe ferry link is unlikely to get under way until next year is a bitter blow to tourism operators on both sides of the channel.

Mystery surrounds the announcement with the ferry company first blaming Swansea City Council for not providing suitable landing facilities and then withdrawing the statement and blaming themselves. Either way it seems to me that the first thing you get sorted if you are running a passenger ferry is where you are going to land!

I’m reminded of the 7P’s – Poor Preparation and Planning Produce Piss Poor Performance!

More though I’m annoyed that new private sector initiatives are stifled by bureaucracy – hasn’t anyone told them that we are in a recession?

A more worrying development from a local perspective is that the company is progressing well with plans to run between Cardiff and Minehead – if these succeed then I can see the Swansea Ilfracombe link being a side show and the decline of the tourism business on each side of the channel set to continue.

It’s not the only ferry with problems. The new Swansea Cork ferry suffers from having no access ramp for passengers from the dockside – they have to be bussed onboard  through the car entrance in a 10-15 seater bus – just imagine how long it takes to disembark 400 foot passengers – crazy!

This, I might add is not the fault of the council but is to do with Associated British Ports. Perhaps all these people should take a trip to Cork and see the support there for a ferry which has been launched by a private sector initiative.

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Published in: on 13 June, 2010 at 2:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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