Ferry good news

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I was delighted to read Cllr Russell Imrie’s article (Friends of The Scotsman, 25 August) about the new ferry service between North Berwick and Anstruther.

When I served on the SEStran board, I had the pleasure of crossing from Kirkcaldy to Portobello and back during the hovercraft trial (was it really as long ago as 2007?), and have long wished to see the Firth resume its rightful role as the highway between the Lothians and Fife.

As I recall, a major impediment was the need for public money to “pump-prime” any initiative, and that sort of cash has been denied to SEStran and the adjacent councils by the Scottish Government. Well done to SEStran for managing to obtain European funding for the new ferry.

Wherever one visits coastal towns abroad, there is always a network of ferries linking the local communities – Stavanger, Helsinki and Stockholm are obvious examples.

Appropriate types of modern vessels can be used for different types of service – single hull, twin hull, hovercraft, or hydrofoil.

It has always been a great disappointment to me that our “Scottish sea” has been deprived of such an asset.

A short cut across the lower Firth is bound to be attractive to tourists, as well as having great economic benefits to both sides of the water, not to mention reducing congestion on the 
bridges at Queensferry.

Here’s wishing the new ferry service success, and to it being followed by further such links across the Forth!

Phil Wheeler

Templeland Road

Edinburgh