THURROCK Council and Kent County Council have announced the award of a new long term contract for the operation of the Tilbury to Gravesend passenger ferry service.
The service, which is used by around 200 passengers every day, needs subsidy from the councils to sustain its operation.
Following a tender process, the councils have announced that a new five year contract has been awarded to Jet Stream Tours which has been providing the service on a short term basis since a change of operator in May.
Thurrock Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport, Cllr Brian Little said: “I’m very pleased that there are now long term arrangements and commitment to the service for the next five years.
“Jet Stream Tours have done a wonderful job in the interim period – providing a reliable service, supporting residents wanting to cross the river and businesses – particularly the Port of Tilbury – access a wider labour market.”
Peter Ward, Commercial Director from The Port of Tilbury said: “This is great news for the communities of Thurrock, Gravesend and for the port. It’s an important crossing and the security of a long term service will be of great benefit to many people and businesses in the area.”
KCC cabinet member for transportation Mathew Balfour said: “There has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes to secure the future of this service for the next five years.
“I know how important it is to people in the area with some 120,000 journeys made on the service each year and we’re happy to announce Jet Stream Tours will be continuing their work, having recently stepped in to take on the service.
“They have already proven themselves to be a valued partner and we are confident that the service can thrive with them providing it.”
Richard Baines, Managing Director of Jet Streamsaid: “We are delighted to be awarded the new contract and look forward to build on the relationships that we are forming with the Councils and with Passengers.”
For information on the ferry service – visit: thurrock.gov.uk/ferry