Hovercraft vision would link up bay

Solent Express hovercraft like one that could be used to link Heysham to the rest of the North West
Solent Express hovercraft like one that could be used to link Heysham to the rest of the North West

Plans to run hovercraft services to and from Heysham are being discussed by MPs.

Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw chaired a meeting of other MPs on Monday to discuss proposals put forward by Hovercraft Services UK.

The proposals seek to run Hovercraft services connecting Fleetwood with Southport and Liverpool and a service to Heysham and Barrow.

Last week, in a letter of response to the Lancashire County Council Fylde Coast masterplan, Mr Ollerenshaw urged County Council transport chiefs to meet with the group to consider the feasibility of the project.

Speaking from Westminster on Monday, he said: “Hovercraft Services UK have approached me with this proposal to run hovercraft services.

“I would like to open up a discussion between MPs, Lancashire County Council and Hovercraft Services to ascertain the feasibility of the proposal. It is very early days, but, I am always open to suggestions that have the potential to improve infrastructure.”

A spokesman for Mr Ollerenshaw said the cross-party meeting, involving John Pugh (Lib Dem, Southport) and John Woodcock (Labour, Barrow) as well as Mr Ollerenshaw, went “very well”.

Mark Menzies (Conservative, Fylde) was also represented and Paul Maynard (Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys) had met with the hovercraft company earlier.

The MPs watched a short video which looked at the Isle of Wight service, which uses the same hovercraft.

Mr Ollerenshaw has now asked Hovercraft Services UK to meet with Lancashire County Council, and John Pugh will ask for the issue to be mentioned in the Sefton transport masterplan

Once all plans are in place, the MPs will approach ministers and other agencies such as Natural England and the Maritime Authorities.