I AM writing regarding the proposal for a ferry service returning to Weymouth.

I was very glad to see the idea being raised by Weymouth Town Council (WTC) a few weeks ago along with it passing through the meeting with zero objections. A fantastic achievement by all involved, especially Cllr Bergman and his team.

However I was disappointed to see how poorly Dorset Council have reacted to the proposal. From the outside it appears that not only have Dorset Council moved the goal posts for WTC but also have thrown them under the bus with the poor and in some cases disgraceful words that have been used to describe WTC proposal in the Echo.

That being said, I understand that this doesn’t reflect the general view of all Dorset Councillors. The recent articles do leave one question open where do we stand with the proposal at the moment? I have long been hopeful of a return of a ferry service.

I do understand the need to set a time limit on such ideas otherwise we will keep going round in circles.

I appreciate every effort that has been made to get a proposal together.

I am in favour of the ferry however I understand the need to consider all aspect for the Peninsula site.

That being said, nothing has been done to the site for seven years, just talks, some good and not so great ideas, but none have come to fruition. Why is it so important for a feasibility study to be done so quickly (by 30 June)?

Twelve months was a very short time to get discussions in with an operator, studies done, business plans, etc. I understand the urgency to start a redevelopment but after seven years another few months to allow a study to take place is only a drop in the ocean in terms of time.

The ferry has brought many benefits to the town for the past 221 years (1794 - 2015) and without the ferry, steam railways probably wouldn’t have arrived in Weymouth as quickly and as a result Weymouth would be nothing of what it is today.

That being said, a summer sailing schedule of 1-2 times a week isn’t fantastic, everyone definitely hoped for more, however we all have to start somewhere we can’t just expect the operator to jump straight in with two sailings seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

We need to start small.

After a season once the service has shown to still be popular then levels will increase.

The Islanders have already shown they are in favour of a Weymouth over Poole route for the many benefits it brings.

It’s good to remember when Condor first started they ran only one sailing a week! Can we not give this some real thought and think about the huge benefits even a limited service for the first year or so may bring.

A ferry wouldn’t just benefit Weymouth but Dorchester too.

A ferry is levelling up and helping with jobs (terminal staff, marshals, border force , etc) and bringing in income to the town in terms of possible overnight stays in the surrounding area, patronage of local restaurants and maybe visiting an attraction.

So why can’t WTC have a little longer to carry out this study so we can have hard evidence that it will work or not work?

I must add, I am completely in favour of a new development of some description on the peninsula but a ferry in my opinion must be a priority with the rest of the development built around it.

I hope people will think about what is really right for Weymouth (or at least worth an extended deadline for a feasibility study to see where this can go) with evidence we will know for sure if this can get off the ground and into the air.

A proposal on paper is nothing without evidence and this study will show that. Please can time be extended to allow this to take place, for the benefit of Weymouth, Portland and the surrounding area of Dorset.


Cleveland Avenue