Steam Packet questions stack up

Tuesday 21st August 2018 7:18 am

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET Ben-my-Chree sailing in rough seas

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It may be the summer recess, but questions are still being asked about the Steam Packet in Tynwald.

There are 12 separate questions surrounding the company out of the 57 questions for written answer from Tynwald members.

Members can ask written questions during the recess, with responses due today (Tuesday, August 21).

Of the 12, 11 questions come from Liberal Vannin leader, Kate Beecroft (Douglas South) with the other from Rob Callister (Onchan), both asking questions relating to the proposed Princes Half-Tide Dock.

Mr Callister’s question, for the Minister for Infrastructure Ray Harmer, relates to whether the current contract between Peel Holdings and the Steam Packet relating to access to Pier Head can be extended beyond the end of 2019 and what facilities will be in place from January 1 2020.

The second part of his question asks whether facilities and infrastructure will be available when 2020 TT bookings open to the public in 2019.

Isle of Man Newspapers has asked similar qustions of the DoI.

A spokesman said: ’The DoI continues its work to develop the landing site in Liverpool and an update will be provided later in the year.’

Mrs Beecroft also focuses her questions for the DoI on the new dock and asks if the new site has been purchased and what preconditions are attached to the purchase.

Isle of Man Newspapers has recently reported that, while Tynwald had approved spending of up to £3.5m in July 2016 to buy a site for the new ferry terminal, the purchase has still yet to be completed as the money has yet to be formally requested by the DoI.

Mrs Beecroft also asks if planning approval has been sought for new terminal, what consultants and architects are working on it, when AECOM was appointed as project lead and by whom and what progress Liverpool Council has made in respect to the new road for access to the dock.

The Examiner asked Liverpool Council if it could comment on the progress made towards the new terminal.

A spokesman said ’Liverpool City Council is working closely with the Isle of Man Government to support them in the development of their new ferry terminal.

’These are complex engineering schemes which involves regular communication between all parties and this will continue throughout the entire process.’

Mrs Beecroft will also ask if the new dock will be exclusively for the use of foot passengers and vehicles or whether freight could also be handled in the port.

In a 2016 DoI report it is stated: ’Freight traffic is not welcome within the Liverpool Waters development but the Peel Group is willing to permit the passage of freight vehicles in the event that Heysham Port is unavailable.’

Mrs Beecroft’s questioning extends to the Treasury as she asks whether a copy of Treasury’s due diligence report is available to Tynwald and the public and if the classification documentation for both the Mannnan and the Ben-My-Chree was inspected prior to purchase.

She also asks DoI how often each vessel needs to be dry docked and inspected and when this was last done.


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