Councillors inspect progress on £45m link

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COUNCILLORS inspected progress of Wightlink’s £45m investment to deliver a new ship and port improvements in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth councillors Rob Wood and Tom Wood, who represent St Thomas ward, met Isle of Wight Ferries chief executive Keith Greenfield and toured the facilities at Gunwharf’s car ferry terminal.

City councillors granted planning permission for the scheme in March. It includes a double-deck boarding ramp to enable vehicles to embark on both the new ship and Wightlink’s current flagship St Clare, thus helping improve efficiency of the Portsmouth to Fishbourne route.

Hundreds of stakeholders and neighbours took part in a consultation on the project before the company submitted plans for the development.

‘Construction at Gunwharf will begin in September when our retail building is demolished and Costa Coffee moves into the ticket office,’ said head of business operations Sean Millward.

‘We plan to have all the works at Portsmouth complete by summer 2017 ahead of the arrival of our new ship in spring 2018.’

Rob said: ‘It was good to be shown the progress.’

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