A new water ferry service in Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour welcomed more than 1,500 people aboard during its first week of operation.
The service launched on July 1st and is running in Sutton Harbour for the summer months during peak visitor season, linking the historic Barbican Quarter with the Fishing Quarter whilst the pedestrian footbridge is closed for essential repairs.
Visitors to Britain’s Ocean City and local commuters alike have been using the ferry service, which will be in operation for an initial 10 week period to help people cross the harbour and reach key tenant businesses on Plymouth’s waterfront, including the National Marine Aquarium and Rockfish restaurant. Both venues are offering to discount the cost of the ferry tickets from customers’ bills in the restaurant, NMA shop and cafe.
Pete Bromley, Harbour Master of Sutton Harbour, said: “We are delighted with how well the Sutton Harbour Ferry Service has been received in its first week of operation, and hope the public continue to use the service during the summer season whilst the bridge is out of action for necessary repairs. We will continue to work with some of our key tenant businesses on Plymouth’s waterfront during this time to help bring people over to the Fishing Quarter to visit venues like the NMA and Rockfish more easily.”
Mitch Tonks, owner of the Rockfish restaurant chain, said: “It has been great to see the ferry in operation this week bringing people over whilst the bridge is closed, especially during the sunshine and as we hit peak summer season. We will continue to take off the cost of the ferry for all customers who present a valid ticket when dining with us.”
The service has been organised in collaboration with key tenant businesses as an interim measure to help people make their way across the harbour whilst the footbridge over Sutton Lock is closed for the coming months.
Mark Du’chesne, General Manager at the National Marine Aquarium, commented: “The school holidays are our busiest time of year at the National Marine Aquarium, so we are thrilled that Sutton Harbour Holdings plc has come together so quickly with local tourism partners to put on this essential ferry service. The crossing has already received a fantastic reception and we look forward to welcoming both the local community and tourists over the summer months, who will be able to take full advantage of exclusive on-board offers.”
The ferry is available from 9.30am – 7pm, Monday to Sunday, during the busy summer season.
The service, which is operated by local firm Silverline Cruises, has a small charge of £1 per person each way or £1.50 return, and children under 5 travel for free.
The Sutton Lock pedestrian footbridge remains closed to the public for the coming months whilst further testing is undertaken by Environment Agency engineers to rule out all potential causes for the bridge fault.
The bridge was fitted more than 20 years ago as part of the installation of the Sutton Harbour lock gates, whose main function is to manage any flood risk and allow marine traffic, such as fishing boats, to enter Sutton Harbour. The lock gates themselves remain operational.
An alternative walking route around the harbour is accessible via the Harbour Heritage Trail with a footpath circling around East Quay and North Quay (see map below).
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