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Cruises boss 'not surprised' there were no bidders for Torbay fast ferry

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

By TINA CROWSON

Will Ford 2

Will Ford

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NO OPERATORS have submitted bids for Torquay's new 'frequent' cross Bay ferry service.

Torbay Council is continuing to talk to operators who have expressed an interest in running the new service between Torquay and Brixham.

The council received £2.75million government cash towards its Travel Torbay Regeneration Project which included the ferry scheme and cycle route improvements, with the council funding £1.5million and expecting significant investment from the private sector.

But, though five potential operators originally showed interest, none made an official bid.

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Earlier Will Ford (pictured), managing director of Greenway Ferry Pleasure Cruises, said he did not believe the business case for the service stacked up and was not bidding. Today he said he was not surprised there had been no other bids. He believed the business case had been drawn up before fares were cut by competition among operators.

A Torbay Council spokesman said: "We are currently having discussions with operators who have expressed an interest in running the proposed new ferry service.

"There was certainly a good level of interest when we first announced our plans last year."

In November five potential operators sent representatives to find out more about the service, but when tenders went out there were no bids.

"While disappointed, we are certainly not downhearted as we are still extremely keen to see this ferry service proposal come to fruition and we are working hard to achieve this," said the council spokesman.

"Discussions are continuing with several operators with a view to putting a new service in place and we would welcome an approach from any others who wish to find out more."

The cross-Bay ferries will restart at Easter and the ferry to Greenway House on the River Dart restarts on February 16.

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  • uquip  |  February 08 2013, 10:36AM

    If fares were cut it was because of the threat of the new ferry, a nice little cartel had been operating up until then.

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