Metro Mayor announces tender for new Mersey Ferry

Plans for a new Mersey Ferry are one step closer with Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, announcing that the project is now out to tender (Friday 14 December)

The existing two vessels, due to turn 60 in 2019, have high maintenance and running costs and new vessels are considered the best option in safeguarding the future of the Mersey Ferries– currently one of the most popular paid for attractions in the Liverpool City Region, and improving the services they provide, while also presenting the best value for the public purse.

The existing ferries were built for ‘short hop’ cross-river journeys and the new ferry design is aimed at providing a vessel that will improve comfort and versatility for use for events and river cruises as well as fulfilling its core role as a public transport service. The investment is expected to reduce operating costs to Mersey Ferries over the life of the vessels.

The announcement of the start of the procurement process, in which bidders are encouraged to recognise the impact of their bids on the local economy, comes after naval architects prepared initial concept designs.

A supplier engagement day was held earlier in the year to encourage interest in the project and networking amongst the local supply chain. There was also a period of consultation with the public and stakeholders on the potential design, features and on-board facilities.

A preferred supplier to build the vessel will be selected as soon as the process allows. City region leaders, through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, will then be asked to commit to the project going ahead.

Said Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram:

“Pressing the button on the procurement process marks the start of the next chapter in the Mersey Ferries’ long and rich history. The current fleet is sorely in need of an upgrade and this is as much about safeguarding our beloved ferries for future generations as it is improving and enhancing the customer experience.”

Said Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority:

“Our existing ferries have given outstanding service to generations of commuters and visitors. We are committed to investing in their future so they remain part of the iconic scenery on the river and our culture and heritage.”