Ferry between Ilfracombe and Swansea, Minehead and Penarth by 2008


ferry

Here’s a great prospect for increasing economic activity in an area of the UK outside of London and the South East. A fast car ferry service between North Devon and South Wales. One of my earliest memories is of being taken onboard the paddle steamer between Cardiff docks and Weston Super mare. According to recoords, The Cardiff Queen also served a route to Ilfracoombe at one time in the 1940s, so the idea of a transport link between Wales and Devon is not completely new. The link across the Bristol channel should help to fuel the mini economic boom in South Wales as well as improve employment prospects in the south west, not to mention vastly cutting travel times between Cornwall and Gower.

BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | South West Wales | Wales-Devon ferry aims for 2008
Wales-Devon ferry aims for 2008

There is support on both sides of the Bristol Channel
Backers behind plans for a “fast cat” ferry between south west England and Wales will tell business leaders in Swansea it could be running in a year.

They say £1m has been promised for the passenger services from Ilfracombe to Swansea and Minehead to Penarth.

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79 Responses to Ferry between Ilfracombe and Swansea, Minehead and Penarth by 2008

  1. Linda H says:

    Hmm, much though I love boat trips I’m not too thrilled by this. It’s good for Swansea perhaps, but Gower really doesn’t need anymore tourists in cars in the Summer holidays. It’s already packed in August.

    • alex c says:

      i dont see why you are sayin about the gower being spoilt? If I was to be honest I’d say it already is. I know its quite nice there but it aint exactly no pembrokeshire isit???

  2. Ian Wilson says:

    I think it is a great idea. I work with much larger ferries, but love the local crossings. It will also save driving 105 miles from Minehead, or a staggering 176 miles from Ilfracombe. Surely this will remove traffic from the roads, not increase it?
    Ian

  3. Linda H says:

    When you look at the distances “a staggering 176 miles from Ilfracombe” means it is not a viable day out to go from Devon to Gower. Perhaps a car ferry will entice more people with their cars on to a very beautiful, largely unspoilt and very small penisulla. The restricted amount of accomodation on Gower produces a natural limit on tourists. Day trippers come mostly from Swansea and its environs. This might change that. I might just be being selfish :-) but I’d hate to see Gower spoilt.

  4. Ian Wilson says:

    You are right Linda. I would hate to see the Gower spoilt. I would have thought that tourists would be just a small proportion of traffic in the area, except during the kiddies summer hols. I just think it would remove a lot of traffic that would otherwise be in the area. Perhaps the local council could investigate road restrictions during peak periods? I live in a very busy road and it can be a nightmare, so go ahead and be as selfish as you like. :-)

  5. Chris Marrow says:

    I would like to set your minds at rest. What we are planning is a passenger only fast cat service with integrated public transport links. The crossing time from Ilfracombe to Mumbles would be 45 minutes. With the South West so highly dependent on tourism, there are real fears for the regional economy as congestion on the roads into the area limits the numbers who want to brave the motorways. In the other direction, South and West Wales are trying to increase the viability of the tourist industry with Swansea endeavouring to rebrand as a short stay destination. There is also a much larger ‘visiting friends and family’ market than meets the eye as a result of years of interchange across the Bristol Channel in the past. With sporting links, people from the south west wanting to come shopping in the centres of South Wales, others using the route as a link to Irish ferries, the risk of despoiling the Gower is minimised. It also means that you can chose instead to spend a weekend on Exmoor or the South West Coastal footpath. There are a significant number of people whose lives will be made a great deal easier by a ferry, and this is reflected in some very heartfelt messages of support that are appearing to back our concept.

    • alex james says:

      Get it done Chris! as soon as possible. The musical links alone would be vast, the cultural exchange overdue and both areas would benefit from day trippers or weekend breakers. Educational links become viable (uni students etc). I can think of too many benefits for this not to be done and the archaic fearful ‘small Wales’ attitude which has been a precurser to failure in the past needs to be brushed aside like the annoying gnat that it is. C’mon Swansea where is your ambition? It is critical is it not?

  6. Linda H says:

    Well, that sounds great Chris! I’m glad that it’s just a passenger ferry and I can see the point of providing the link. Actually, I might even be tempted to use it myself some day :-)

  7. Ian Wilson says:

    What a shame it isn’t already operating. I will be in Ilfracombe next week. I would have enjoyed the trip.
    Please keep us up to date with developments, Chris.

  8. David says:

    I am about to move from the South-West of France back to England and am presently buying a house in North Devon. I have friends who have visited me for the past five years who live in Porthcawl. The proposed ferry would be excellent for me as it would save a long journey and allow us to visit each other on a regular basis.

  9. Martin says:

    I have wonderful friends in Gower and have gone there every year since I was born from Yorkshire, but now live in Ilfracombe North Devon, and I am delighted we are getting a ferry service to Swansea from North Devon, it will cut down hundreds of miles worth of travel and fuel for visitors wishing to travel in either direction, I cannot wait, the ferry will link the two most beautiful places in the the uk Gower and North Devon, sheer heaven!!

  10. lee says:

    i am looking for ferry from cardiff to devon coming this saturday

  11. Rob Hopkins says:

    This ferry service will be welcomed by all cycle groups, provided it offers a cycle friendly service. Swansea sits on the National Cycle Network route 4 (Celtic Trail) and Ilfracombe is on NCN 27 (The Tarka Trail). A ferry service that catered for cyclists would link these two cycle routes and open opportunities for cycling holidays to those, like me, who enjoy this form of recreation.

    Can the ferry company comment of the viability of using this service for a cycling holiday. There are many people in my club who have expressed an interest in this idea.

  12. Chris Marrow says:

    Rob,
    I run and cycle – certainly want to make it viable for cyclists and for cycling holidays. We also want to help trade through a small parcels service, but we might have to accept limitations depending on the design of the vessel we end up with. The high rise and fall of tide might make taking bikes on board a little complicated, but we’ll be doing all we can to make it possible. Same things goes for disabled access, of course, and we’ll be looking very hard at all those points.
    Hope that helps.
    I’m answering this on a slow network in Tanzania where our charity side is helping a remote ferry crossing on the border with Mozambique – it has the potential to regenerate a whole area if we can get it running better. Same goes for the Bristol Channel, of course – should help with regeneration, especially in Ilfracombe.

    Chris Marrow

  13. Andy Roberts says:

    Thanks for the reassurances and keeping us updated with any news Chris. The Southern Africa ferry project sounds interesting too. All I can find so far is this:

    “Tanzania and Mozambique plan to establish ferry services across the Ruvuma River between the two countries to ease the transportation problem, Tanzanian media reported on Thursday.

    The move will largely facilitate trade activities that have been hindered by lack of reliable land transport”

  14. Mike Christopher says:

    I am originally from Mumbles, mum and dad still live there. I am in the process of applying for a job in Ilfracombe, this ferry service would be great, I could stay at Mum and Dads during the week and go home to Plymouth at weekends. Brilliant.

  15. simon lorimer says:

    as someone who has just moved to devon and has many friends in swansea and neath this service would be a real boon.

  16. Mel says:

    I live in North Devon. Illfracombe at present is suffering economically. If the link works it could greatly improve North Devon tourism (illfracombe in particular). I have friends just outside Swansea in llanelli – so being selfish am a bit dissapointed I can’t take car across as ir takes me 4 hours to get there at mo. If I could cut across to Swansea and take car it would have cut travel time massively!!
    Ah well I still think its a fantastic idea. Hope it happens.

    • joe says:

      this is a very good idea ,i live in ilfracombe and it is in a sorry state ,and i hope with money invested here it will make it a nicer place to live .

  17. cross channel ferries says:

    Just a few words to say THANK YOU! ..this is an magnificent blog you’ve got here!! By the way,norfolkline provides ferry services to Dover from Dunkerque with a crossing time of under 2 hours with up to 12 ferry sailings per day in both directions.

  18. Jonathan says:

    Any news on the Minehead-Penarth ferry? I live in Dulverton and work in Llandaff so the sooner the better!

    Jonathan

  19. alex c says:

    yeah! whats happening with this ferry then? isit going to happen??

  20. DAIhaze says:

    when are we going to here more news on the swansea to cornwall ferry

    • Andy Roberts says:

      There’s some news about the proposed South Wales to North Devon passenger ferry route here in the North Devon Gazette

      Some professor of Maritime Research in Edinburgh has formed an academic group to support proposals for a £multi-million fast catamaran service from Ilfracombe to Swansea in three quarters of an hour, and also from Penarth to Minehead.

      “These routes are inevitable!”

      Chris Marrow who commented earlier in this thread and leads the project thinks it’s an important milestone and said “Our business plan is now being finalised”

  21. Michael D says:

    I’ve looked into getting a ferry from South Wales to Devon a few time’s and for a few different reasons, one being that I have friends at Plymouth University my main form of transport being a small capacity motorbike. Hopefully this ferry route will come to fruition and I’ll be able to take my bike along with me too as public transport would make the travel ever so slightly difficult…

    Good luck :O)

  22. Duncan C says:

    Sounds like a fantastic idea, I’ve often been on top of the quantock hills (near minehead), looked at Wales and thought – it’s not very far away – but it takes so long to get there! I live in devon and have only been to wales once – maybe this would change that!

  23. Chris Marrow says:

    Hi everyone,

    I am very encouraged by the enthusiasm that most people express for the ferry concept. The plans contnue to approach fruition and we have even been to view a couple of ships which will be available next year. The big crunch approaches – raising the finance. Wish us luck. Oh, by the way. These ships currently carry up to 30 bikes on their current route.

    We also continue to develop a scheme for loading the passengers in Minehead. (Given the high rise and fall of tide, being able to operate independently of the tide is a major factor.) The Minehead to Penarth route will run in tandem with the Swansea/Ilfracombe one, and there will be sailings in the day when the vessels swap over, so that will mean a Swansea/Minehead service and another from Ilfracombe to Penarth.

    Hope that helps anyone who is interested.

  24. Bob Story says:

    Hi, I see Chris’s comments mention the ships that could be used and that 30 bikes are carried, this I presume would mean Bicycle rather than Motorcycle. My personal view is one Im sure will be echoed everywhere, I will use it if its priced right.

  25. Ruth says:

    This ferry is an excellent idea. I have family in both Ilfracombe and Swansea and would love to be able to visit both easily. The sooner the better!

  26. mike says:

    I have been closely following the proposed swansea-devon ferry crossing for a while now and am really excited. I am hoping everything falls into place, im looking forward to becoming a frequent passenger!

  27. tracey pring says:

    can you tell me when the minehead -penarth ferry is likely to be running as my son and fiancee live in penarth and all his family live in somerset the drive is so tedious a ferry would be fab

  28. Sam says:

    This ferry would make my life so much easier. I live in Ilfracombe and am hoping to go to swansea university in 2009. If it is put in I would be a frequent passenger as I dont really want to move too far away from home (and swansea seems like a very good uni)! Please put this ferry in as it would mean my decision on picking a uni would be made for me!!

  29. ali says:

    Hi, I think it is a fantastic idea, i have recently moved from plymouth to swansea and frequently travel back and for(costing a present a full tank of fuel each way). This will have an impact on our “carbonfootprint” and the opportunity to use a ferry would save on time, cost and environmental issues. When would this be looking to start?? i want to use it, and i know that friends and family are looking at using it. It will also promote both swansea and north devon’s viability in many ways. Please let us know when it will be starting i heard it was from this summer??

  30. John D says:

    Would you buy shares in a company with such a hairbrained idea?

    Just look at the map – the road connections to the proposed terminals on the English side are diabolicly bad.

    How many people would actually make the crossing? How many people would it need to make the ferry viable financially? It is true some folk would find such a service very handy but you have to guarantee profitable loadings day in day out year after year to justify the investment needed.

    Such a service might just about pay its way in the height of the summer carrying holidaymakers on day trips were it not for the fact that the “Waverley” and the “Balmoral” already cater for that trade – and are barely profitable.

    I attended a public briefing by the promoters of this idea in Watchet last year and there was no serious support for the idea from the floor. When asked how many people would use the service almost everybody put their hand up. When asked how often they would use it the answer was almost unanimously “once, just to say we’ve done it”.

    There has been no recent news of this project, which appears to have gone dead.

    You can’t run a business like that.

    John

  31. S Bollard says:

    I can’t believe there isn’t one already. It has thrown a spanner in the works of our holiday as I would have liked to break up my journey to Cornwall by making our way down the coast of Wales. I planned a weeks base in Wales then onto Cornwall. I’ll have to settle for an over night stay on route now, most disappointing…………

  32. linda says:

    is there, or is there not going to be a ferry crossing between swansea and ilfracombe??
    according to this article it should be up and running by 2008 – which is now… and this article seems to be the most up to date news on the matter…
    has the idea been quietly chucked?

    really keen to know.
    really keen on ferry.

    linda

  33. ken says:

    whats happen to the ferry service from penarth to minehead

    • Andy Roberts says:

      I think we are just going to have to accept that the chances of raising the money for this to go ahead are now lower than ever. It’s a shame because the idea of a ferry route between South Wales and North Devon clearly inspires a lot of potential passengers.

  34. Chris Marrow says:

    Hi to all on this thread.

    Andy – you might be pleased to know that the financing of the project is proving to be very possible. We are moving as fast as we can to get two ferries in the middle of next year when they become available with a start to regular services for 2010. It is not the financing which is causing any difficulties at this stage, but getting clarity as to landing faciltiies. We are dealing with all appropriate authorities to move this ahead as quickly as possible. There are no landing sites that are independent of tide in the Bristol Channel, but we can cope with ones that give us access at all stages of tide except low water springs. We have a very impressive team of people involved, with finance experts, over 200 years of ferry experience between us, a couple of top engineers and one of the world’s foremost experts in fast ferries. There has been a great deal of market research done, dating back over many years, and we have added our own toi the mix. All of the reports that have been done show a very clear demand.

    The vessels we are after do 34 knots, so Ilfracombe into the centre of Swansea at SA1 will take around 50 minutes, and Cardiff/Penarth to Minehead takes around 35. We are also taking a look at Burnham on Sea as there are 55,000 tourist beds there and close access to the M5.

    I hope that brings everyone up to date.

    • Andy Roberts says:

      That’s great news Chris that the ferry service will still go ahead, albeit after 2009. I guess we’ll just have to be patient for a while longer. Many thanks for the update.

      When you mentioned Burnham I thought of Burnham on Crouch which has a little ferry to Wallasea Island, but that would never make it around Lands End!

      Newquay has thousands of tourist beds too, a tidal harbour, and is difficult to get to overland but the sea crossing to anywhere would be a long one.

      • jayjay says:

        I am getting really frustrated with a 3 hour, 130+ mile drive to somewhere I can see clearly from Minehead beach! Tourism is only part of the issue, north Somerset and north Devon are low-wage, high-unemployment regions while Cardiff is a real growth area…

        jayjay

  35. Chris Marrow says:

    Thanks, Andy.

    It’s Burnham on Sea that is north of Bridgwater – first major tourism area as you head south west down the M5. Weston super Mare is best known, but the Burnham, Berrow and Bream strip has all the holiday camps. The Barry Railway Company ran paddle wheelers in there to provide a through route from Wales to the South Coast in the days before the Severn Tunnel. (There was a railway station right by the pier in those days.) We have yet to ascertain what the market might be for this route.

    Anyway, I will keep on pushing. It will take a bit of stopping now we have got this far.

    Thanks for the blog.

    Chris

  36. linda says:

    thanks for update!
    i look forward to the day i travel from north devon to wales in 50 minutes!

  37. lesley Culverhoused says:

    Will a Minehead to Penarth service be possible and economically viable to a commuter?

  38. Chris Marrow says:

    For Lesley
    It might well be, Lesley. It depends on economic viability, of course. I am keen to get as much information on commuting as possible, so I would welcome any thoughts you might have on numbers who might be interested. Of course, commuting is something that has to build up over a period of time, so one wouldn’t expect huge numbers at first. However, the potential is what really interests me.

    • lesley Culverhouse says:

      Given that West Somerset is an area of high unemployment and it would appear the travel time is less than what it takes to commute to Taunton or Bridgwater, I can’t think this project would suffer from a lack of keen commuters. However I will do some research!!

  39. RobM says:

    I live in Penarth and for many years have thought it would be useful to have a ferry link to the West Country. It’s also worth pointing out that a potential landing stage in Penarth would probably be within minutes of a dual carriageway to the M4. I think fare prices will make or break this venture but if hauliers were targeted as major customers as they would make the biggest savings on fuel it could have an outside chance of success.

  40. OllyB says:

    I commute from St. Agnes to Swansea every Monday, back Thursday, this really would be awesome! Please keep us updated Chris.

    Kind regards,

    Olly

  41. simon lorimer says:

    The sooner this this gets off the ground the better- before the authorities start spouting their usual nonsense about “credit crunch” ” feasablity studies” and “economic viability” and start their ‘fact finding missions’ to the Carrabean. I’ve seen it all before with the Firth of Forth crossing a couple of years ago. KEEP AT THEM.

  42. Chris Marrow says:

    Thanks guys for the interest. We are steadily building up the support and the investment. At a recent meeting we had all the authorities together from both sides and there were no dissenting voices. They are all keen and are all playing a role. Much to do yet, but the momentum is growing all the time. I might have some more news shortly and will let you know.

    Simon- so far the financial situation has not counted against us. Long term infrastructure projects are flavour of the month.

    Olly – very interested in your commute. We lack information about weekly commuters, so anything you find out, please let us know. It would be very useful. Winter service will be less frequent than in the summer, and there are issues around weather conditions, of course. I was expecting the main weekly commute to be Friday and Monday. Any insights into commuting needs would be welcome from anyone. I am sure Andy would pass on email addresses for any appropriate communications?

  43. Andy Roberts says:

    Hi Everybody,

    This topic about the Devon/Wales Ferry isn’t going away so we are going to try having a FerryTime web board where the issues can be explored in more depth. There will be threaded discussions for related topics, since the blog post comments here are getting a bit unweildy. I think I should still leave them open for passers by though, do you think?

    Register yourself a username (personal details will never be disclosed) and enjoy putting the world to rights as far as UK ferries and sea routes are concerned. Invite your friends or anybody interested in a quicker journey between Ilfracombe and Swansea etc and maybe we can help to gain a critical mass for this scheme.

    The discussion continues over there —-> http://www.ferrytime.co.uk/blog

  44. Ben Fane says:

    does anyone know if this is still going ahead?

  45. Chris Marrow says:

    Hi Ben,
    Work is still going on. If all goes well we will be starting in 2010, though there remains a lot of work to do. We are negotiating for two ships at the moment..

  46. joe says:

    is this gonna happen ,as one minute its saying in2008 then 2009 now 2010 ?

  47. Martin says:

    Whether its 2009 2010 or 2011 it will be amazing, these kind of things don’t happen overnight, also Ilfracombe (where I live) is looking at a new breakwater for our harbour, to take larger vessels, but whatever it takes lets all remain positive, and if any public support is needed let us know, I would be the first to champion the cause, I have life long friends in Swansea and Gower and as responsible residents bothe in Devon and South Wales I am sure the service would be used to ease congestion on the lengthy route via Bristol, and the use of the local roads on both sides of the water would be with care as usual, we live here! Keep up the good work.

    Martin Ilfracombe…………..

  48. Chris Marrow says:

    Martin – Thanks very much for your support. It is certainly appreciated and the envouragement from communities like Ilfracombe has been great and has helped me to keep going.

    Joe – Unfortunately it isn’t just a question of going out, buying a ship and starting. There are very few locations for landing ferries on either side of the Bristol Channel and we are having to tackle that as well, and that includes planning issues, funding issues, and so on. I’m afraid it will take as long as it takes, but we won’t be giving up. The groundswell behind the project is now too high to be stopped. Anyway. the team is in place and we are in negotiation for a couple of ships right now. Keep fingers crossed that we are succesful.

  49. joe says:

    i ment no offence its just me being very impatient .i understand that there are many obstacles to go through ,to get where we want to be and support everything thats going on .Is the ilfracombe breakwater going to happen and if so when ,as there has been talk for years about this ?

    • Martin says:

      Hi Joe Ilfracombe is being considered for an Atlantic Array ( a wind farm in the Bristol Channel) which will need service ships in and out of Ilfracombe and there is talk of storing liquid LPG under the sea off Ilfracombe, which will also require service vessels, then finally and more importantly Crown Estates have shown more than an interest in our harbour here, which would mean a fast forward to a new breakwater to attract bigger vessels yatchs etc, look on This Is Devon (North Devon Journal) website for more detail & lets all keep pushing for this whole thing to take place ASAP

      Regards Martin

  50. Chris Marrow says:

    Hi Joe. No offense taken. I am delighted that you are interested and I share your impatience. Thanks for writing and don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    With respect to the outer breakwater, Martin is right to point out the various developments that are going on. It will do no harm to let your councilors know of your support for the harbour development as it will strengthen their arm when discussing it. All the Ilfracombe councilors are behind it and deserve credit for keeping a united front on the subject.

    Thanks everyone

    Chris

  51. Steve Lawrence says:

    Are you looking for investors? I would like to know more about your proposals where can I get this information?

  52. Chris Marrow says:

    Steve,
    Thanks for your inquiry. We have a first class team and some really good investors, but we still need more. I will ask Andy Roberts who hosts this site to send you my email address, or else you can find an address by Googling me. (I am loathe to put too many email addresses on line or else I will suddenly get a load of mails from Ouagadougou proposing to give me millions of dollars helping to transfer funds from a dormant account!!)
    Thanks for your interest.

    Chris Marrow

  53. Chris Marrow says:

    Steve,
    Thanks for your inquiry. We have a first class team and some really good investors, but we still need more. I have asked Andy Roberts who hosts this site to send you my email address, or else you can find an address by Googling me. (I am loathe to put too many email addresses on line or else I will suddenly get even more mails from Ouagadougou proposing to give me millions of dollars helping to transfer funds from a dormant account!!)
    Thanks for your interest and please send me your contact details and we will get in touch.

    Chris Marrow

  54. becky says:

    what a brilliant idea, as i live in swansea and all my family are in cornwall it would make visiting on both parts so much more easier. and think what it would bring to swansea/mumbles just what the town needs. As a small buisness owner myself the benefits to all would be a great advantage,what with the finacial climent and so many places closing in the area. i can wait seems to good to be true : – )

  55. annmay says:

    hi, is it up and running yet please? Only that we have relatives in Ilfracombe and my mum lives in Bridgend, so this would be great for us to take the car onto the ferry and drive to Wales after having seen said relatives in Ilfracombe. This would cut out so much of journey time. Please would someone tell me if this is now going. Thanks.

  56. Chris Marrow says:

    Hi Ann May
    Not up and running yet, buy getting close. Keep your eyes on the press over the next couple of months. If all goes well we will be running from next Spring. However, no cars, I’m afraid. The service will be run by two high speed catamarans that carry 360 passengers. We would hope to add a car ferry later, but first we need somewhere to land them, which also involves approach roads, marshalling area and so on. On the other hand, the passenger cats can do the trip in 50 minutes, whereas a car ferry would take about an hour and a half. There will be sail/drive packages available, so getting a car at your destination will still be a far cheaper option than driving round. when everything is taken into account.

  57. Anita S says:

    I can only see positives, I have family in Wales, it will mean I can see them regularly without adding to my carbon foot print by driving my car from Devon to Wales. Apart from that it will be great for my nephew to visit his Aunty on the ferry rather than a gruelling 7 hour car ride which pollutes the atmosphere and means parents are worn out and tired by the time they arrive.
    As for Swansea surely it will take cars of the road while adding to local economy?
    Hope it arrives soon.

  58. Adrian says:

    Haven’t had time to read all the comments, but such a ferry service is desperately needed: our daughter has a holiday job in Cornwall and a University residence in Cardiff and needs to go back and forth; her boyfriend, who is also at Cardiff University, lives in North Devon; we ourselves live in Powys and are going on holiday to Devon next month – we would much prefer to go by bus (or even drive) to Cardiff and go by boat from there – smaller footprint, less stress and more fun.

  59. Chris Marrow says:

    Adrian – Thanks for your comments. Watch the press over the next few weeks. We can’t help you on this year’s holiday in N Devon, but you might certainly think of a 50 minute ferry trip for next year.

  60. Charli says:

    I live in Barnstaple and i think this crossing is an amazing idea. Linda, how can you possibly so against such an idea? Surely the new visitors will boost local economy and make your precious Gower an even better place :) With so much interest im surprised this crossing hasn’t happened yet! Im certainly for it, it would cut out soooo much journey for those traveling from the south west into wales and vise versa. Why hasn’t this happened yet!

  61. Ferries says:

    My mum and dad still live Uk. I am in the process of applying for a job in Ilfracombe, this ferry service would be great, I could stay at Mum and Dads during the week and go home to Plymouth at weekends.

    • Mike says:

      Not trying to be funny ‘Ferries’, but, if you travelled from Ilfracombe to Plymouth via this ferry service then, that would be a damn long journey, much quicker by road. I must have gotten the wrong idea, eh?

      But I agree, great idea for this ferry service, that means it will probably never happen.

      • Gill says:

        I think this is a great thing to happen, I have family that live in Devon and Cornwall and this will mean we can get to visit each other alot quicker, cheaper and more often. It will bring trade to Swansea and surrounding areas and vice versa. Gower isn’t the only place in Swansea and it’s for everyone to enjoy, I’m sure business’s there would soon complain if “tourists” failed to visit. The Cat is due now in May this year so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.:)

  62. ken says:

    What a waste of time, going from swansea to Ilfracombe, Ilfracombe is a run down town with nothing to do .it should be going to Minehead

    • Tabby says:

      hahahaha ….
      oh wait, was that not a joke?!
      Ilfracome is not a great destination admitedly, but the surrounding area is beautiful and well worth seeing.

      I do think that a link over the channel would be hugely useful and I for one am supprised that no one has thought of it before. I assumed that there would already be one!

      As for not wanting the Gower to become spoiled, most of the westcountry is hugely reliant on tourism for trade so I am suprised that someone is so adverse to tourism on the other side of the water! If you do have too many visitors this could be a great utility for you to send them over the channel, N Devon would be very grateful! :)

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  64. sally says:

    I’ll get a damn canoe in a minute .. the amount of time this is taking. : ) Any further updates, or was that fine idea and effort it. ? Such a shame if so – but did understand what the man who mentioned finance was talking about – if a little negative for his realism. Come back ‘man’ : ) – you probably hold the answer on making it viable. !

  65. sally says:

    Yes .. scrolled back – John D. Thanks – ideas. ?

  66. Lundy says:

    For a long time we have heard about ferries and marinas in Ilfracombe but seldom it gets beyond the talking point. N Devon has stong tides excelerating fast as the tide moves up past Lundy Island into the Bristol chanell. This makes most harbours very difficult to operate from at low water. A big problem for any commercial venture

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