The withdrawal in January by a contractor who had successfully tendered for the service dampened the celebrations over the joint deal by Wyre and County Hall to continue supporting the ferry.
Efforts to sort out the contract wrangle have been on-going for the past two months. Yesterday Wyre Council’s economic portfolio holder, Cllr Peter Murphy, gave the nod for the council to enter a contract with a company with maritime experience.
Ferry users and others are now hoping it will be plain sailing for the ferry deal – with a contract being signed very soon.
A possible (though unlikely) hitch is a “call in” by other councillors challenging yesterday's authorisation. Under council rules that must be made within the next five days.
The new contract could be signed by the middle of next week, with sailings of the Wyre Rose possibly starting on or around Friday, April 13.
Shortly before Easter, details of the procedures leading to the signing of the contract and the resumption of the ferry service were outlined by Wyre and Preesall Coun Phil Orme.
He indicated then that April 13 was the likely start date, assuming there is no “call in.”
The delays in the resumption of the ferry service has prompted protests in Fleetwood, Knott End and Preesall.
The disappointment put a damper on the celebrations which followed the earlier joint decision by Wyre and County Hall to continue subsidising the ferry service.