Lancashire County Council cuts could 'sink' Knott End ferry

Knott End Ferry Image copyright Phil Platt/Geograph
Image caption The first official ferry service began in 1894

A council's proposed spending cuts could sink a ferry service described as "community lifeline", it has been claimed.

Lancashire County Council plans to stop the £85,000 subsidy it gives to the Fleetwood to Knott End ferry.

An online petition urging the council to change its mind has been backed by more than 1,300 people in three days.

Last week the council announced it planned to cut the equivalent of 367 full time jobs and 40 libraries.

The county council, which said it needs to reduce its budget by £65m over the next two years, pays half of the ferry's running costs, with Wyre Borough Council paying the other half.

Councillor Peter Gibson, Leader of Wyre Council, said: "I am really worried that the county council is looking at this service as though it isn't necessary, when it clearly is.

'Funding struggle'

"If county withdrew their half we would really struggle to pay for all of it. We are not a transport authority at the end of the day."

The petition, which was started by local businesswoman Linzi Martin, said the ferry service was "a lifeline for many locals of Knott End and surrounding areas of Over Wyre who do not have transport".

The sailing lasts minutes, compared to an hour-long journey by road across Shard Bridge to Fleetwood.

The first official ferry service began in 1894 although fishermen had taken passengers across the River Wyre before that date.

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said it would not be commenting on the ferry funding, which will be part of the financial measures discussed at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

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