Landing stage secured to 2019

By by Adrian Darbyshire Twitter:@iomAdrian in Transport

The Steam Packet has agreed to pay £540,000 for essential works to be carried out at the Liverpool’s Pier Head landing stage to safeguard services to the city for three more seasons.

Tynwald has agreed funding for the Manx government to buy land at Prince’s Half-Tide Dock for a new terminal.

But the Steam Packet says this will take some time to complete - and in the meantime, major investment is needed to extend the lifespan of the existing landing stage at Princes Parade for a further three years.

It will ensure fast craft services to the city can continue until the end of 2019, when a new berth will be required.

The contract to use the old landing stage at Princes Parade, described as ’time expired’ and too old to maintain, was originally due to expire on December 31 last year and owner Peel Ports had indicated that Manx ferry services would need to relocate elsewhere.

But following a request from the Steam Packet, Peel Ports has reviewed the condition of the landing stage and identified its lifespan could be extended by three years if extensive essential works are carried out later this year.

As part of the three-year contract extension the Steam Packet has agreed to reimburse Peel Ports for the works, which will cost £540,000, securing the berth until the end of Manannan’s 2019 season.

There will be no request for the Manx Government to contribute and passenger fares will not be increased to pay for the investment. Scheduled services will not be disrupted when the required remedial works are carried out.

Steam Packet chief executive Mark Woodward said: ’The future of the existing landing stage has been in doubt for some time, so we are pleased to be able to give our passengers certainty, at least in the short term.

’We know that maintaining a Liverpool route is vitally important to many people in the island as well as to developing the visitor market. We have now secured an immediate solution, but new facilities will be required longer term.’

He said the Steam Packet would have preferred to remain at Princes Parade, as it is a central location convenient for passengers, but that is not viable longer term as Liverpool City Council wants to create a dedicated cruise terminal there.

Birkenhead 12 Quays is not suitable for fast craft, there are currently no other Merseyside berths available.

Mr Woodward said the new terminal at at Prince’s Half-Tide Dock will take time to complete. ’Our significant investment to retain the current landing stage for a further three years gives Isle of Man Government the time necessary for a long-term solution to be delivered.’

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Ron · 65 days ago · Report

This was the location of Isle of Man's main ferry link to England for ages (and probably hundreds of years) but we seem to have missing information re the terms of its use? Clearly IOMSPC in its current foreign owned form had not really fully appreciated it's value in any case.

Fell · 65 days ago · Report

That is a question that jumps out once you mention it MP!! Does that mean that Peel Ports are washing their hands of their Landing Stage unless the IOMSPC pays them both for its repair and use because it is 'time expired & too old to maintain'? They may feel that the IOMSPC has no room to negotiate because the current facility they use is in poor repair & the new one is not available. Was this predicted?

Manx Pleb · 65 days ago · Report

Whilst it's welcome that Manx taxpayers are not having to contribute to the £540k (yet) it might beg the question why the Steam Packet are having to as well? The facility is OWNED by Peel Ports who presumably charge the Steam Packet for use. Surely then its upkeep and repair is the responsibility of Peel Ports? Who appear to move in very unhindered ways as suits them whenever it comes to dealing with IoM matters.

Modern Democracy · 65 days ago · Report

Good question Fell

Fell · 65 days ago · Report

No drama. The real question remains why our government is spending £20 million of Manx taxpayers money on a secondary port to convenience Liverpool Corporation & Peel Ports when 3 years ago Peel Ports said it would spend 'up to £15 million' on moving the Landing Stage? What happened to make Peel Port decide not to do what it originally said it would do? Is their withdrawal of funding a reason for taxpayer concern given that they are a successful commercial organisation?

Manx born (formerl CV) · 65 days ago · Report

Did you read the article Spook? It says IOMSP are paying for it.

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