Green light for new Torbay fast ferry service
A NEW fast ferry service for Torbay has been given the go-ahead by the government.
The proposal is one of 30 local transport schemes worth a total of £113 million which got the green light.
The ferry between Torbay and Brixham would see journey times cut by half.
A fast ferry operated by Stagecoach operated on a trial basis in Torbay several years ago.
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Torbay Council has welcomed news of the £2.75million Government funding boost for its bid to improve sustainable transport facilities across the Bay.
Its Travel Torbay Regeneration Project is an integrated package of measures totalling £12.6million to reduce pressure on the transport network and enable new economic growth and reduce carbon emissions.
Torbay Council's funding towards the package is £1.525million, and there will be significant investment from the private sector.
In addition to the new fast and frequent ferry between Torquay and Brixham, the package includes the "Riviera Trail" cycle route promoting healthier low carbon journeys; bus services linking the new ferry to Torquay town centre, Torre Station, Torbay Hospital and the north of the Bay.
The Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid that has been approved by the Government provides apprenticeship opportunities alongside the ferry service for young people working with South Devon College.
There are also supporting measures such as travel planning, marketing to maximise the success of the new schemes, and electronic real time information.
The overall effect will be to create a new "Eastern Travel Corridor" across the Bay to allow improved access to jobs and services for everyone.
Cllr Robert Excell, Executive Lead for Safer Communities and Transport, said: "This is excellent news. I am delighted that the Department for Transport has recognised the significant benefits that this package will bring.
"We are committed to improving sustainable transport across the Bay. A lot of hard work went into preparing this bid, and I am pleased that those efforts have been rewarded by news of this funding boost."
Announcing the Department for Transport funding grants totalling £113-million, Mr Baker said: "The schemes we are funding today will benefit communities from Devon to Durham by cutting carbon emissions, reducing congestion and stimulating economic growth in these areas.
"By investing in these projects we are signalling our commitment to green growth which will help to kick-start economic activity in local areas while improving access to healthier forms of transport and addressing the problem of climate change."
The Department for Transport says the local schemes receiving funding will bring national benefits.
In addition to supporting economic growth enabling and encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices, the projects will reduce delays on the roads in urban areas, delays which cost the economy around £11 billion a year.
They will also help tackle problems such as poor air quality and improved cycling and walking infrastructure will help to improve the health of the nation.
Further information about the Travel Torbay Regeneration Project can be found on Torbay Council's website.