£6m Strangford ferry finally takes to water after ramp problem
A new £6 million ferry finally took to the water yesterday after £12,000 of work to fix a problem with the ramps.
The MV Strangford II, which will take foot passengers and vehicles between Strangford and Portaferry in Co Down, had been due to become operational last year.
However, ramps had had to be modified when it was found that cars would be unable to disembark at high tide.
The Department for Infrastructure said yesterday: "Following successful sea trials, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency were satisfied with all safety aspects for the new ferry and have issued the Passenger Certificate to allow it to begin operating.
"The new Strangford Ferry will replace the ageing MV Strangford, which was built in 1969 and is now beginning to reach the end of its operational life.
"The new ferry is equipped with the latest technology in terms of marine engineering and ease of maintenance. It also provides a comfortable passenger lounge for the short journey between Strangford and Portaferry."
She added: "The ramp modifications on the new Strangford Ferry will cost approximately £12,000. Discussions are ongoing within the contract with the ship builder, Cammell Laird, regarding these costs".