Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Exmouth could benefit from a ‘cross-pollination’ of tourists from Lyme Regis and Sidmouth if a ferry linking up the towns becomes a reality.
For five years, Jurassic Coast bosses have mooted a water-borne commuter service, connecting Exmouth, Sidmouth, Seaton and Lyme Regis.
Earlier this year Sidmouth Town Council pledged £25,000 for the project and last week the district council’s tourism champion, Sheila Kerridge, said the service would ‘benefit the whole district’.
But the cost could be huge because Seaton and Sidmouth don’t have natural jetties.
Lesley Garlick, the Jurassic Coast liaison for Devon County Council said it would need private sector cash.
Ian Stuart of Stuart Line Cruises said: “The ferry service would definitely be a big boost for tourism. The service would only be able to work during the summer months.
“However, my main concern is the piers not being long enough.
“It would have to be able to operate at all states of the tide. People can understand it being cancelled because of weather but not because of not enough water.”
He added that he would be ‘interested’ in the project: “But I don’t think it would be a money making experience,” he added.
Mayor Bill Nash called the project a ‘lovely idea’ but warned that the costs would be high and said that the figure of £750,000 had been quoted.
Chairman of Exmouth’s Chamber of Trade Ian MacQueen said: “It would enable tourists from each town to ‘cross pollinate’.
“Visitors to Lyme Regis would come to Exmouth, visitors to Exmouth would go to Sidmouth.
“If you had the chance of being able to get to work on a ferry, or boat ride, wouldn’t you?”