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  1. Published on: 06/11/2018 08:21 AMReported by: roving-eye
    A public consultation ahead of the commissioning of the first new Mersey Ferry in over 60 years has provided valuable feedback that will help inform the upcoming tender process.

    Merseytravel would like to thank the 1,500 plus participants who took part in the consultation, answering questions on a wide-range of topics relating to how the future new vessel could look and what facilities it could have on board.

    Independent research carried out over a three-week period in August and September included a programme of engagement with hundreds of customers, local residents and visitors – as well as key groups and individuals in the region, including Friends of the Ferries and the Ferries Heritage Group.

    There was also the opportunity for current and potential ferry users to take a short online survey to give their views.

    Some of the key findings from the consultation included:

    High level of satisfaction amongst existing users.
    The new vessel should be able to cater for different uses (including leisure and hospitality), based on events and weather.
    The customer experience on board (e.g. audio commentary, seating etc.) is more important than the look of the vessels.

    The commissioning of a new ferry represents the next step in a 20-year vision for the Mersey Ferries.

    The strategy centres on reducing the cost of the Mersey Ferries to the public purse, while exploring the commercial opportunities they present as leisure craft and visitor attractions, ensuring that the service is sustainable for future generations to enjoy.

    Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, said:

    "The Mersey Ferry is an iconic symbol of our City Region and we’ve recognised their importance to local people by asking them how they would like the new vessels to look and what facilities they could have.

    “The current fleet is sorely in need of an upgrade as the ferries crossing the river today are actually older than the Gerry and the Pacemakers song that bears their name. That's why we're commissioning a new ferry, expected to go into service in 2021.

    “We want to make sure that the next generation of ferries is as beloved as the current fleet by building a new vessel that we can all be proud of. The results of this consultation will help us do that and make sure they continue to be recognised across the world."

    Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said:

    “We’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation regarding the new Mersey Ferry.

    “The feedback we have received has included some really interesting and useful suggestions, many of which we were already looking at and shows that we’re on the right track with our plans to provide the city region with a new vessel it can be proud of.”
     

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