Hovercraft Service could be Southport bound

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A new hovercraft service linking Wirral and North Wales could be up and running in time for the British Open Golf Championship at Hoylake this summer.

The idea comes amid ambitious plans to re-establish a route to move 200,000 tourists a year.

Merseyside company Hoverlink (NW) Ltd is seeking investment to set up a service that will take passengers from Wirral to Rhyl and Llandudno in under 35 minutes.

The brand new 85-seater hovercraft could make up to 24 trips into North Wales every day from early next year.

In the meantime, it is hoped that a trial run – timed to coincide with the Open in July and running throughout the summer – will allow the firm to gauge opinion about its plans.

The company also intends to use the hovercraft for the rest of summer  offering customers the chance to try out a service from Llandudno, New Brighton, Liverpoool, Southport and Blackpool.

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Above is a photograph of the last hovercraft that was operation  in 2005 that was ran between Southport and Blackpool.

The new service is hinging on a £50,000 minimum investment needed to turn the trial idea into a reality.

Company founder Simon Clitheroe said: “A 32-seated hovercraft will be used to trial each of the locations identified along the coast and provide valuable information from customers for the larger regular service in 2015.

“We are in talks with both Wirral council and Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane to start this trial during the British Open Golf Championship and facilitate a fast service between Rhyl and Hoylake.

“By having this service, passengers will be transported along the North Wales coastline and across the Dee to a specific landing point directly next to the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, returning at the end of the day and avoiding long journey times and delays.

“We are in the investment stage but have a small window of opportunity to raise the funds for this trial service.

“During the next few weeks we are hosting three investment evenings in North Wales, Merseyside and Lancashire aimed at any potential  investors or groups that would like to join us in this unique venture.”

The world’s first commercial passenger hovercraft service ran briefly from Rhyl to Moreton beach in 1962, but ended when a storm damaged the passenger craft while it was moored.

But Mr Clitheroe is convinced the time has come for a new era of hovercraft travel and said modern day craft are more efficient and safe. He added: “We have had a really positive response to the idea but we are really keen to gauge local opinion and get their feedback.”

It is envisaged that a single passenger fare from Wirral to North Wales would be  around £15. There will be four hovercraft constantly in operation.

To attend the investment event or for more details, email [email protected]

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