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Hop aboard West Lynn ferry service's new boat

PUBLISHED: 17:34 06 January 2015 | UPDATED: 17:34 06 January 2015

The new amphibious ferry service is up and running between King's Lynn and West Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The new amphibious ferry service is up and running between King's Lynn and West Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant

It is a service that has been traversing the same stretch of water for more than seven centuries.

The new amphibious ferry service is up and running between King's Lynn and West Lynn. Pictured is Steve Kingston. Picture: Ian BurtThe new amphibious ferry service is up and running between King's Lynn and West Lynn. Pictured is Steve Kingston. Picture: Ian Burt

But passengers on the ferry across the river River Great Ouse can now travel without fear of it being grounded on sand banks in low tides.

The West Lynn ferry service has taken on a new amphibious boat that has tracks fitted to make sure it can drive over the sand banks.

It was commissioned two years ago but has only been in operation a few weeks, when it became a necessity after the ferry service was suspended for several days, after it was grounded on sand banks in the middle of the river.

The new boat also means mean passengers no longer have to walk across the banks on boards at low tides when the ferry is not able to reach the landing stage.

Steve and Gail Kingston have run the ferry since 2000 and hope to carry their millionth passenger across the water this year. They were previously fishermen from Clacton.

Mrs Kingston said: “Going back and forth across the river hundreds of times a day we worked it out that in distances we will circumnavigate the globe every five years.”

Mr Kingston said he enjoyed his job, but added: “It was becoming increasingly stressful before we got this new boat.”

The couple have three ferry boats in total, including the new one, and they cost about £100,000 between them. West Norfolk Council pays an annual £20,000 subsidy to support the operation of the ferry, as it also supports bus companies, but the couple pay the other costs themselves.

Have you got a story about an historic service that’s now back in operation and better than ever? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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