After years spent navigating one setback after another, the vision of water taxis on Manchester’s canals could become reality later this year, says ‘waxi’ entrepreneur Steve Cadwell, who has agreed a deal with Peel to operate on the Bridgewater Canal.
Cadwell says his Manchester Water Taxis firm has secured a licence from Peel subsidiary Bridgewater Canal Company to operate two 12-seater boats on the canal in daylight hours. The boats will take passengers to the intu Trafford Centre via Old Trafford and Hotel Football as well as running a service to Sale, both terminating at Dukes 92, Castlefield.
Manchester Water Taxis was founded in 2009 by Cadwell and initially planned to launch on the Manchester Ship Canal, running between the city centre and MediaCityUK.
Despite securing funding these plans were put on hold once HS2 was given the green light and the Ordsall Chord began construction, when Network Rail withdrew access under the rail line construction site. Rather than mothball the project Manchester Water Taxis searched for alternative routes. Cadwell said: “The signing of this licence is a monumental milestone in the history of Manchester Water Taxis. The next few months are going to going to be really exciting as we prepare for launch. I can’t wait to welcome the first passengers on board.”