MP Congratulates Quay Project Teams

Penzance Harbour

Scilly’s MP, Andrew George, has congratulated project teams on the Isles of Scilly and in Penzance for the “good progress they have made in preparing plans for the development of their harbours to improve and develop the Scillies ferry link.”

This follows a public exhibition in Penzance last week, where the final three designs for the mainland-side of the project were presented.

Designs for St Mary’s quay in Scilly have been agreed for some time, although the Government has said no money will be forthcoming until both projects have been finalised.

The original £62m ‘Route Partnership’ project, which included the purchase of a new combined passenger and freight ship, was rejected by the Government last year on the grounds of cost.

Mr George has denied he was responsible for scuppering those plans following the release of letters and emails between the MP and Ministers, showing he was highly critical of the original proposals.

Cornwall Council, a lead partner in the Route Partnership, refused to be involved in the current process, with The Council of the Isles of Scilly and Penzance Town Council taking on responsibility for their respective quay projects.

Mr George said, “I congratulate all involved. Needless to say, this has been a difficult process given the circumstances. But people have, in some cases, put past differences aside and been prepared to work together for the general good.”

“There is still a long way to go. Unfortunately, we don’t have any more time for reflections, delay or argument.  We are in the last chance saloon. If we are to take advantage of the offer of many millions (of pounds) of investment in this vital ferry and freight link then the project must continue to proceed at an accelerated pace in order to meet the immovable funding deadlines.”

Mr George added, “The ‘Coalition of the willing’ has shown itself to be very willing and capable of moving forward and working constructively. Meanwhile the teeny residual ‘Coalition of the unwilling’ have always got the solace of social networking sites in which they can occupy themselves and their energies.”

The Penzance Harbour Scheme Management Board will be meeting again this week to review the responses to the public consultation before making decisions about how to proceed.

Replacement plans for the current Scillonian III passenger ferry and Gry Maritha freight vessel are still unclear.