Wednesday 24 February 2010

Lymington Ferry

A ferry service has been running between Lymington and Yarmouth at the western end of the Solent since around 1830. A hundred years or so later, on May 1st 1938 a car ferry was introduced capable of taking 17 cars and 516 passengers.

As you would expect some progress has been made since then culminating during 2009 with the introduction of new purpose designed and built ferry's operated by Wight Link, named Wight Light, Wight Sky and Wight Sun.

These new ferries are bigger and better than their predecessors, and therein lies the problem which has become something of a local controversy.

The Lymington River Association claim that the new ferries are damaging the mud flats, salt marshes and the river banks with their new propulsion and steering systems. Indeed they feel so strongly about it that they have hired a barrister and taken the case to the high court.

In the picture below you can see a ferry making an approach in the outer river. I've been in close quarters at that point with a ferry, just where the river does a dog leg, and it can be a little uncomfortable, especially at low tide when there's not much water.

Further inside the river things get even more congested, it must be a nightmare piloting a ferry in such close proximity during a busy holiday weekend.

This is clearly a hot issue, there is even a flickr group dedicated to the issue, which also has some great photographs.

The picture below - well nothing to do with the ferry, just a nice photo of Lymington Yacht Haven, shame about the "Danger of Death" sign - or maybe it's becasue the river is too congested!

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