New operators committed to Foyle Ferry future

The new operator of the Greencastle to Magilligan ferry has said the company is committed to the service's 'long term viability and reliability.'

Monday, 11th July 2016, 4:01 pm
Updated Monday, 11th July 2016, 6:02 pm
Lough Foyle at Magilligan Point.

Frazer Ferries successfully tendered for the service across the Foyle and their vessel began sailing last Wednesday.

Paul O’Sullivan, of Frazer Ferries told the ‘Journal’ they were “very pleased” with the interest in the service so far.

He said: “Naturally, we never expected to be at full throttle at the start as we were aware we needed to get the word out there. But, we are very pleased with how it’s going so far.

“We’ve has extensive interest in the service and non-stop enquiries from people who are looking for sailing times, cost and frequency. The word is spreading and it’s certainly building. We’re very happy so far”

Mr O’Sullivan said Frazer Ferries sees “considerable potential” in the Foyle ferry service.

He confirmed they “really want to focus” on linking the Wild Atlantic Way with the Causeway Coast and the tourism opportunities this creates.Mr O’Sullivan added that “several hundred thousand” pounds has been invested in the vessel itself and it is in “much better shape.” He said this means they are able to operate a shuttle service and increased sailing times, with the vessel going back and forth every 35-40 minutes.

“The longest anyone will have to wait is 35-40 minutes and we’re very optimistic of the traffic building throughout the summer,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

The operation of the ferry has also created “in and around” 15 jobs, some of whom were working with the previous company as well as new members of staff.

“The knock-on effect of indirect employment is very significant,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

The service will operate until the end of September and Frazer Ferries will then look at a possible service during the winter months.

“We’ll see how it develops over the next few months and then decide from there,” said Mr O’Sullivan.