The on board experience and catering for different uses should be factored into the new Mersey Ferry, according to consultation findings.
More than 1,500 participants are said to have had their say as Merseytravel prepares for the upcoming tender process for the vessel.
Customers, local residents and visitors to the Liverpool City Region took part in the consultation, along with key groups and individuals including Friends of the Ferries and the Ferries Heritage Group.
The new ferry is to be the first in more than 60 years and its commissioning is said to represent the next step in a 20-year vision for the Mersey Ferries.
Key findings of the independent research, which was carried out during August and September, include a ‘high level of satisfaction’ amongst existing users and a desire for the vessel to cater for different uses such as leisure and hospitality based on events and weather.
The consultation results also suggest customers’ on board experience, with features like audio commentary and seating, is more important than the look of the vessels.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, says: “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.”