Councils urged to split the cost of funding the ferry

The Hayling Ferry

The Hayling Ferry

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AUTHORITIES in Havant and Portsmouth are being asked to contribute cash to support a new Hayling ferry service.

Leaders at Hampshire County Council are asking for help to get the ferry back up and running this summer.

But there have been no guarantees that either Portsmouth City Council or Havant Borough Council will be able to stump up the cash.

The service has been suspended since March after the family which owned it for 30 years, the Edwards, went bankrupt.

Passenger ferries Tina Marie and the Pride of Hayling were put up for auction and are believed to have been bought by a consortium who want to reinstate it.

Hampshire County Council has now launched a tendering process for a subsidised service and it is believed there are several interested parties.

Until 2013, Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council split the £20,000 cost of using the pontoons in Langstone Harbour.

The city council then pulled the funding.

Councillor Ken Ellcome, who heads transport in Portsmouth, told The News: ‘There’s no budget for it at the moment.

‘It would come from other funding. Whether or not we are in a position to do that, it would need to be considered against all our other priorities. It’s a nice add-on.

‘I am not saying it is essential. The last few months we have not had it and nobody has complained to me that’s disrupted their lives.’

He said the final decision would be made by the city council’s cabinet.

Councillor Mike Cheshire, leader of Havant, said he had received no correspondence with regards to the ferry.

He said he would need to see a detailed business plan before making any decision.

He also stressed that Hampshire was the strategic transport authority and Havant had never helped to fund the ferry.

The county council’s member for transport Sean Woodward said he would also be talking to Langstone Harbour Board to see if pontoon costs could be reduced. He added: ‘I’m not prepared to leap in and throw another £35,000 into it. It is only fair that Portsmouth and Havant at least consider contributing.’

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