‘Close Coordination Needed’ To Avoid Gry Maritha Disruption This Winter

gry maritha 2Councillors have been assured that next season’s visitors won’t face disruption from Quay extension works.

Kier Construction manager Rients Jan Veldkamp offered an overview of the £7.3m project, which is being run by Cornwall Council, at Thursday’s Transport Committee meeting.

Mr Veldkamp said the quay would be lengthened by 23m using concrete sections precast in Plymouth and brought by barge to Scilly.

There’ll also be some widening to the rear of the quay using concrete blocks anchored into the bedrock.

The surface of the pedestrian pathway will be smoothed to make it easier to walk on, while new chiller and freezer areas, a new ticket office and a balcony running the full length of the Harbourside building will also be added.

A team of around fifteen Kier workers will be needed to complete the upgrades.

The work is expected to start in October, as the Scillonian sailings end for this season, and should be completed by April next year.

Cllr Marian Bennett asked if that would cause any disruption to tourists at the start of next season, but she was assured that most of the heavy construction would be completed, barring any serious delays caused by bad weather.

The Chief Executive of the Steamship Company, Rob Goldsmith, said the Gry Maritha is a lifeline freight service for the islands through the winter and close coordination with Kier, the Duchy and Cornwall Council is critical to avoid disruption.

He also said the two ships’ masters have some concerns about the work but he thought these could be worked through fairly easily.

Cllr Richard McCarthy said work to smooth the pedestrian walkway is important. That’s a problem for elderly people and families with baby buggies and often causes congestions as people cross over into the vehicle areas, which are easier to walk on.

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