Liverpool City Region metro mayor Steve Rotheram has revealed a proposal to commission the first new Mersey Ferry in almost 60 years.
The plan for a new boat is a key element of the Mersey Ferries strategy, which will be supported by approval of next week’s Combined Authority budget.
Naval architects have prepared initial plans and, following a period of public consultation on the type of facilities desired aboard the new vessel, a tendering process will start later this year.
Rotheram said: “Ferries are such an important part of our identity. They have both a practical and an iconic value and will be a key element in our future transport and tourism strategies.
“This new ferry will be designed specifically for our needs and will ensure this ancient form of transport is relevant for the 21stcentury. There will be ferries on the Mersey as long as there are Liver Birds on the Liver Building.”
The authority said that as well as fulfilling its core role as an integral part of the public transport system, the ferry could be used for events and river cruises to generate additional income. The ferry could be ready for service before 2021.
Cllr Liam Robinson, chairman of Merseytravel, said: “Our existing ferry fleet has given outstanding service to generations of commuters and visitors.
“They have been part of the scenery on the river, but if we are committed to the future of the ferry, now is the time to invest in a vessel fit for the next 50 years.”