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See below for article on proposed new ferry service -

New plans for high-speed ferries in the Firth of Forth

BRIAN DONNELLY March 23 2006

A fresh plan for a ferry across the Firth of Forth, and possibly as far west as Alloa, has been unveiled by two Fife-based companies.
They said a link between Kirkcaldy and Leith could use smaller ferries that are faster, more flexible and less than half the cost of previous ideas.
Ace Marine has designed a 50-passenger high-speed vessel capable of 35 knots, allowing commuters to make the run from Kirkcaldy to Leith in less than 15 minutes.
A 2004 report by Halcrow, and commissioned by the Fife Estuary Transport Authority (Feta), suggested vessels could take as many as 150 passengers every half-hour from Kirkcaldy to Leith in around 20 minutes, and costing £10m.
David Gray, director of Ace Marine, naval architects of Limekilns, Fife, believes the figures could be reduced with a smaller scale service.
He said: "We believe the River Forth is an entirely under-utilised artery for the transportation of people. By using a larger number of smaller, fast and reliable boats we can service peak demands for commuters between Kirkcaldy and Leith as originally devised, but leave the door open for developing routes up and down the River Forth, where little is required by way of special infrastructure, no major terminals, no large amount of dredging.
"We could see fast passenger transport links as far west as Alloa, and as far east as Anstruther and North Berwick. Our vision is for a fleet of these compact boats providing a fast and reliable service to tourists and commuters alike. They could provide a real alternative to road and rail transport, and should be considered as a strategic alternative to the ailing Forth Road Bridge."
Stagecoach expressed an early interest and Ace Marine yesterday opened talks with the Perth-based transport company and Feta.

Cheers ,


5 Posts
I see that Brian Souter is interested. He is looking for some kind of financial assistance from the Scottish Executive, Forth Ports Authority and Local Councils.
I thought that as a multi-millionaire he would be able to finance this scheme himself, or get a few bob from his sister Anne.
Maybe the money is required to build the new access roads required at each end to take the hoped- for volume of traffic. Plus the car parks and buses to and from the ferries. Oh! Just remembered, Souter runs a bus company. I wonder who will pick up the tab if it all goes pear-shaped.
What is needed is a bloody great bridge,access roads and good connexions to the other main arteries of transport. This should be funded by the Executive etc. and run for the benefit of the country, not private individuals.


" like a bridge over troubled waters "
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