Dartmouth ferry slip reopening delayed
Reopening the Dartmouth lower ferry slipways, currently undergoing a £1m plus refurbishment, has been delayed.
The slipways are now not expected to open until late April.
A spokesman for South Hams District Council said unforeseen ground obstructions and delays on delivery of materials had led to the delay.
It had been planned to reopen the Dartmouth Lower Ferry on Good Friday.
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Cllr Bill Hitchins, South Hams District Council’s Executive Member for Assets, which runs the ferry service said: “While the refurbishment of the slipways got off to a flying start, engineers have encountered problems with driving the steel piles into the bed of the river on the Kingswear side. Underwater obstructions, thought to have been foundations of a much earlier structure (a ferry has been operating there since 1365) were found underneath the silt further out into the bed of the river than anticipated.
“Specialist plant and equipment had to be brought in to break up the obstructions below the low water springs tide line. These difficult ground conditions on a very challenging project timetable have given contractors major problems. The contractors will try to mitigate this and win back lost time although the current weather is not helping. Despite best efforts all around it is now unlikely to reopen before late April. We will firm up on a reopening date as soon as we can.
“We would like to apologise to all our ferry customers and those local businesses who rely on the ferry trade for the delay but this is vital work to ensure the smooth, safe and future running of this ancient river crossing.”