Displaying items by tag: DouglasHeysham
#ManxFerry&Freight – Isle of Man Steam Packet ro-pax ferry Ben-My-Chree is undergoing a biannual overhaul, in her place on the Douglas-Heyham route are fast-ferry Manannan and Arrow providing freight capacity, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Work on Ben-My-Chree at Cammel Laird, Birkenhead, will include refurbishment of some of her passenger lounges, with additional seating added to the Cafe Bar. Investment to interior changes are to refresh passenger areas and improve customer experience.
The 'Ben' is scheduled for a three week dry-docking period and is expected to return to service in time for the annual TT Races starting on 24 May.
Arrow which recently began a long-term charter, has a 65-unit capacity that will provide a lifeline for the island. She represents a multi-million pound investment and effectively is an insurance policy, allowing the operator flexibility to plan for scheduled maintenance periods and if required enhanced level of backup.
The Steam Packet's Chief Executive Mark Woodward said, "It allows us to supplement Ben-my-Chree and Manannan during the TT period, and at other times of peak demand to allow extra capacity for passenger vehicles".
"Already this year, the additional freight capacity offered by MV Arrow has released space on Ben-my-Chree and helped boost TT2014 bookings, which at the end of March indicated that motorcycle bookings were up by 6% on TT2013, cars, vans and trailers were up by 5% and passengers up by 4%".
The 7,606grt Arrow which is chartered from Seatruck Ferries with an option for the Steam Packet to purchase the vessel. During periods not in use, she will go to lay-by in an Irish Sea port yet made available at short notice.
#MANX FERRY – The IOM Today reports that the Manx Government is drawing up plans to ensure that any wind-farms built within the waters off the island would not affect ferry routes.
Work on the Isle of Man Marine Plan is under way and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture's director of environment Martin Hall said it was important it was completed in a 'timely manner'.
One of the plan's objectives would be to identify current activities in Manx waters and safeguard their ongoing use. Mapping the location of navigation corridors, important natural areas and pipelines/cables will enable the island to identify potential wind farm sites that will not adversely affect current uses of the Manx marine environment, including ferry routes and fishing.
The comments come following criticism from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company over Centrica's plans for a wind farm in the Irish Sea, outside Manx waters. The Steam Packet says that Centrica plans to develop in the path of two routes: Douglas-Liverpool and Douglas-Heysham, in spite of complaints from the ferry operator. For much more on this story click HERE.