Thursday, 8 May 2014

New boat shuttle connects Hayle and St Ives

These are exciting times for Hayle with work now well underway to regenerate South Quay and the Foundry end of town. All my lifetime and even further back, people have talked about rejuvenation. Some years ago a local resident drew my attention to a book written around the time of the First World War. In it he said was a prescient sentence, "work to regenerate Hayle harbour has been delayed until after the war." We would hear that many more times in the decades that followed and one of my objectives on becoming an MP was to break this endless cycle of failure and make it happen.

We got there in the end and, now that the work is underway, it's time to think about how we can make the most of our town's new offer. Two years ago I called for a new shuttle boat link between Hayle and St Ives. In future, many people on holiday in St Ives will want to come to Hayle for a day out on one of the best beaches in the country or to visit attractions like Paradise Park. Likewise, those in the holiday parks in Hayle need an easier way to spend an evening out in St Ives. Parking in St Ives has always been a nightmare and there is often congestion in the summer. It’s crazy that people have to drive all the way around the bay when a boat service could easily hop across the water.

I am thrilled that local entrepreneur John Johnson and his family have taken up the challenge and last Saturday I had the privilege to experience the new service myself. The boat used is a high speed rib which departs from North Quay. Although at full pelt the boats can make the journey in less than five minutes, they have decided to make it less of a white knuckle ride although we still completed the trip in a little over ten minutes. We travelled out into the heart of the bay and cut back in towards the beautiful coast around Carbis Bay. You get a different perspective of the bay shared by our two towns and it's a great reminder that St Ives boasts one of the most beautiful bays in the country, framed by St Ives point at one end and Godrevy Light House at the other.

The tides around Hayle are a limiting factor on the hours the service can run but there will typically be two periods of 3-4 hours each day when the tides will be right. My wife has always liked to visit St Ives during summer and in future it will be made a whole lot easier and enjoyable. I will definitely be using the service again. Why not give it a go yourself? It's best to book in advance and details can be found at www.stivesboatrides.co.uk or telephone 07786782352.

George Eustice can be contacted at george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk or 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.