Jurassic ferry dream too costly

A Stuart Line cruise boat prepares to dock at the beach in Sidmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 50

A Stuart Line cruise boat prepares to dock at the beach in Sidmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 5040-19-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

Spiralling costs and a lack of investors to foot the bill have forced tourism bosses to pull the plug on their bid for a Jurassic Coast ferry – despite ‘amazing enthusiasm’ from the public.

Engineers had quoted £1million for a long, low-pitched concrete jetty structure reaching far out into the sea from the eastern end of Sidmouth as part of the scheme.

It would have formed part of a waterborne link between Lyme Regis and Exmouth – but the funds do not exist in the public coffers and there was little incentive for private investors.

Simon Pollentine, Sidmouth Town Council’s tourism chief, said: “It was always going to be a gamble.

“The figures were so huge – there weren’t sources for funding in the public sector or anywhere else.


You may also want to watch:


“Enthusiasm knows no bounds, but money is a little slower coming.

“It’s a 100 per cent infrastructure project with no immediate capital coming back.”

Most Read

He joined meetings with representatives from the Jurassic Coast, Devon and Dorset’s county councils and Seaton Town Council – which would also have needed a £1million jetty to join the route. “The one thing we got was a lot of data, some of which could be used in the future,” added Councillor Pollentine.

“Market research showed an amazing enthusiasm for boats and ferries.

“There’s a huge appetite for it – and I wonder if there’s potential for a low-tech solution.

“There are so many hurdles to be jumped over before it gets built on the seafront in a Regency town on a World Heritage Site.

“Let’s hope the new year brings forward a solution to the eastern town.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus