A public consultation has been launched into how Mersey Ferries’ first new vessel in nearly 60 years should look.
Customers, local residents and visitors as well as key groups and individuals in the region are also being asked what facilities the ferry should have on board ahead of its commissioning.
The three-week consultation launched on Monday (20 August) to gather views on the features and design of the ferry, which is said to represent the next step in a 20-year vision for Mersey Ferries.
The strategy focuses on reducing the cost of Mersey Ferries to the public purse, whilst exploring the commercial opportunities the vessels present as leisure and visitor attractions.
An independent consultancy has been appointed to undertake the programme of engagement, which will see the public have their say in person, over the phone and via an online survey.
Groups including Friends of the Ferries and the Ferries Heritage Group are among those being consulted.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, says: “The ferry on the Mersey is an iconic symbol of our city region, but the current fleet is sorely in need of an upgrade. The boats crossing the river today are actually older than the Gerry and the Pacemakers song that bear their name. That’s why we’re commissioning a new ferry, expected to go into service in 2021.
“But before building begins, we’re asking people how they want the new vessels to look and what facilities they should have. The Mersey Ferries are a source of real pride for people in the city region, and we want to make sure that the next generation are as beloved as the last.”
Councillor Liam Robinson, transport portfolio holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, adds: “A new ferry is a significant investment, so it’s important to get this right. And who better to inform the decision-making on this project than the residents and visitors using the ferries.
“Ultimately, our aim is that the new vessel should be more cost effective to operate as well as delivering an excellent and reliable service which will support jobs and growth in the city region.”