Damp reception for plans to bring ferry back to Sunderland

River Wear scene by Gail Elliott
River Wear scene by Gail Elliott
Have your say

CALLS to bring back the Wear Ferry didn’t float the boat of Echo readers.

As we reported yesterday, civic and transport leaders are being asked to look at reintroducing the service as “a legacy for the future” and to boost tourism levels after the visit of the Tall Ships Race in 2018.

The last ferry crossings took place in 1958, but Tom Parkin, chairman of the Seafront Traders’ Association, backed their return at a recent meeting of the North Sunderland Area Committee, as did several councillors.

Nexus – who carried out a feasibility study on Wear Ferry crossings in 2009, which found capital funding of £8.6million would be needed to deliver the service – said “substantial funding and a robust business case” would be needed to take the idea forward.

However, Echo readers remain unconvinced the ferries are needed.

Commenting on our website, rokerbeach posted: “It would be nice to see, but there would need to be good reasons for people to use it regularly, for it to be a success.

“Students going between campus and their lodgings are one possibility, the other might be a business district springing up on the south side.

“The problem is that, if for instance a cyclist wants to get from South to North Shields, they may take the ferry, whereas at the Wear, they would simply cycle over the bridge.

“A similar argument applies for pedestrians and users of public transport.

“Presumably a feasibility study would accompany any serious consideration of bringing back a service.”

Mr Mop added: “Can’t see there being enough demand to warrant its reintroduction personally. Not for £9m anyway.” Jackthompson wrote: “What a complete waste of money to suggest that we were to have a ferry service, which was not going to be used as these days most people have cars, and the boats would be too slow.

“They are of no beneficial interest to students anyway when going to St Peter’s Campus from the south side, as they still have to walk to the ferry landing suggested.

“In the name of common sense in these days when budgets etc are being cut to the extreme, the very thought of an unused ferry service is totally irresponsible.”

LaidBackLad said: “Could see this being a great asset during the actual Tall Ships event.

“Who wants to view ships on one side of the river only to have to walk up and over the bridge to get to the other side?

“As for after the event, maybe run it as a trial for a few months to see how much use it is.

“I could see students being its main users at that location, but can’t see them wanting to fork out the minimum fee twice a day to get to and from campus, that type of cost quickly adds up to more than the cost a few beers at the weekend.”

NCB posted: “Given the virtually or actually non-existent traffic on the Wear upstream of Pallion, I can’t understand why a small footbridge cannot be built linking north and south Hylton.

“A new road bridge is under construction at Castletown already, Sunderland has no need for the pure folly of a ferry.”