Replace ferry with transporter bridge or cable car, says councillor
- Credit: Ian Burt
King’s Lynn’s ferry service to West Lynn should be replaced with a transporter bridge - or even a cable car - says one borough councillor.
The concept was presented by Conservative member Anthony Bubb at a Tuesday meeting of the borough council’s regeneration & development panel.
“The ferry is not fit for purpose,” said Mr Bubb.
“Nothing wrong with the ferry boat, it does its job - it doesn’t sink, it’s perfectly good when the weather's good and when people can get to it.
“If you're not fit, healthy and active, you're not going to use the ferry."
He said the ferry was “totally out of bounds for the disabled” and “subject to the weather”, making it “not dependable”.
“Now, what is dependable? A bridge,” said Mr Bubb.
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“‘You can’t have a bridge because boats go up and down.’ Yes you can, you have a transporter bridge - a pedestrian transporter bridge.”
The bridge would consist of pylons at each end linked by rails, with a gondola hanging beneath, operated by “something like a six horsepower motor”, Mr Bubb said.
It would link the ferry point in West Lynn with Common Staithe Quay in the east.
Though Mr Bubb admitted it would “cost a bit”, he said that cost would be recovered through fares.
“The poor ferryman will be out of business, but let’s have the ferryman running the transporter bridge - it’s a steady income for him,” said Mr Bubb, who said tourists “flock” to see the country’s existing transporter bridges.
He emphasised however the bridge would be “lightweight” and not on the scale of those designed for cars.
“You could possibly use a cable car version but that’s going to sway about rather more and not be totally practical,” he added.
The panel’s Conservative chair, Judith Collingham, said: “I’ve been to Middlesbrough recently and seen the transporter bridge and it's quite impressive.
“It may not be something that we can imagine doing now, but it might be an aspiration for the future, because the idea of connecting people across the Ouse is surely something we have got to look at more logically than the ferry, which I absolutely love, but you’re absolutely right councillor Bubb, is out of bounds for an awful lot of residents of this borough.”