Plans For St Mary’s Quay Upgrade Go On Display

Plans for the improvements to St Mary’s quay were put on display at the Old Wesleyan Chapel yesterday and islanders and visitors had a chance to put forward their views.

Some people who turned up may have thought they had got their dates wrong, as the event started two hours later than advertised as the architects were delayed getting to Scilly.

The proposals have been cut back from the original Route Partnership scheme although still includes extending the quay to allow more flexibility for ferry operators as well as providing better passenger and freight facilities.

Chris Gregory, Land Steward of the Duchy of Cornwall who own the quay, says the most challenging part of the scheme is separating people from traffic passing the Mermaid before they turn the corner to the quay.

He says they’ve looked at four options so far and he can’t see any of them really working. By trying to solve a problem, they could have inadvertently created another, says Chris, and they might need to go back to the drawing board.

Chris says reaction to the scheme has been fairly positive. He said the covered walkway will benefit queuing passengers and people seem to like the balcony it will create on the Harbourside Hotel.

He said the building is getting old and will benefit from the improvements.

There will also be improved check in facilities for the Scillonian III, which Chris says will make the process “a bit more 21st century.”

But the organizers of this project, which has been termed the St Mary’s Gateway, are aware that it isn’t certain it will go ahead.

If Penzance fails to finalise its quay plan, the Government has said neither scheme will get cash. The window of opportunity for European money, which will be half of the estimated £8m needed, is about to close.