Ferry link for Sidmouth?

PUBLISHED: 17:49 18 October 2011 | UPDATED: 22:41 18 October 2011

Archant

Waterborne transport scheme mooted

A WATERBORNE transport scheme along the Jurassic Coast - including in Sidmouth - could be on the horizon.

Buoyed town councillor Simon Pollentine says the potential of a bid for three-quarters-of-a-million Euros could be “huge” for the town and region.

Councillor Pollentine is a member of the Devon Towns Forum, which has applied for European Union cash, and staged an enterprising coastal transport day at the end of September.

Cllr Pollentine, also chairman of tourism on Sidmouth Town Council, told civic leader colleagues last week that the forum will find out if it has secured the money by the end of this month.

The organisation would then have two years to carry out a study and spend the funding.

Mr Pollentine said: “It was a very important step forward to build up momentum around some kind of transport link along the Jurassic Coast.

“I’m excited by the idea we could have boats going down the Jurassic Coast, including in Sidmouth, and bringing with them money and tourists and trade. The potential could be huge,” said Mr Pollentine.

“If something is to go up and down the coast then we want to be part of it.”

The forum says the tide is turning in favour of alternatives to costly and congested road transport - and there are now serious proposals to start piloting some coastal transport initiatives with environmental benefits and opportunities for coastal town regeneration.

Sir Graham Watson Member of the European Parliament for the South West of England told the forum: “The opportunity offered by bringing people in on boats is something we need to look at. I think the importance of looking at new ways of doing things is the opportunities they offer to stimulate economic growth of a kind or perhaps in areas we’ve not had of expected it.”

He added the forum should consider the experience of other countries across the continent where similar initiatives have been a success.

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