Last week brought the welcome news that a new shuttle boat service will be opening up for people wishing to travel between Hayle and St Ives. It will be running from April this year and throughout the summer it will be operating on a trial basis to gauge the feasibility of the project for the long term. I have been really pushing for such a scheme for the last couple of years and the organisers have kindly offered me a place on the first ride. I am really looking forward to it.
A new shuttle boat is a great idea because it will boost tourism and trade in both towns and provide a really unique and exciting way to travel between them. St Ives Rib Rides, who will be providing the service have worked together with the harbour authorities to get the project off the ground and whilst there are still the finer details to work out they have really shown some fantastic initiative. When I first looked into this I mentioned the potential of a Hovercraft, inspired by the Portsmouth hover-link to the Isle of Wight. Although the ribs that will be used may not be quite of the same scale they are far more manageable and already proven to be hugely popular. The holiday camps in Hayle have also been very supportive of the scheme and the availability of a shuttle service will add another attraction to their business.
Overall the shuttle boat is another step in the right direction of regenerating the area. The idea has already been floated that once construction on South Quay is complete the shuttle boat can operate from there. Plans for South Quay are already coming to life and construction is well underway. The shuttle boat could one day moor near the new supermarket that will create hundreds of local jobs but crucially not drag customers away from the town centre. It could also drop diners off near the new restaurant or indeed homeowners who have taken advantage of the affordable housing being planned. If visitors from St Ives then want to visit the many independent and older shops Hayle has to offer, they could use the planned footbridge between the Quay and the town and be there in less than five minutes.
The next couple of years will see many changes in Hayle.
It is not just in Hayle where major projects are underway. The new Camborne link road that will regenerate derelict land at Tuckingmill and boost business is making good progress. The Cornish Archive Centre at the site of the old brewery in Redruth will also deliver important local jobs and transform the area. These are the big projects that will kick start the revival of our towns but the many smaller initiatives like the shuttle boat service have a role to play too
George Eustice can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.