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Building Overseas of New Mersey Ferry is a Betrayel - Says Union

9th November 2022
Merseyside based shipyard Cammell Laird said it was the main contractor for the new Mersey ferry. Above Afloat adds the existing ferry Royal Iris of the Mersey which serves commuters between the Wirral and Liverpool.
Merseyside based shipyard Cammell Laird said it was the main contractor for the new Mersey ferry. Above Afloat adds the existing ferry Royal Iris of the Mersey which serves commuters between the Wirral and Liverpool. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

The union Unite has said that the shipyard to build the new Mersey ferry is in the Netherlands and this is a "complete betrayal" of workers on Merseyside.

Liverpool City Region (LCR) announced yesterday of the new ferry and said it was expected to be built by the main contractor Cammell Laird in Birkenhead.The shipyard is located opposite of the port city on the Wirral Peninsula to and from where the famous 'ferry cross the Mersey' serves commuters. 

According to Unite, UK government tendering rules meant most of the work would be done by the Damen Group, a Dutch shipbuilding and marine services firm.

The government has been approached for a comment on the ferry service operated by Merseytravel which runs the 10-minute direct cross-river service each weekday (mornings and evenings). The 60 year-old Royal Iris of the Mersey runs the route between Seacombe on the Wirral and Liverpool Gerry Marsden (Pier Head). 

More coverage from BBC News on the historic ferry service which can trace its origins to the 12th century.  

Published in Shipyards
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Shipyards

Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.

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