Water taxi firm lobbies transport planners

Manchester Water Taxi, the company due to launch a public transport service on the River Irwell and Manchester Ship Canal in 2011, is urging residents to register support for the inclusion of the region's waterways in the Greater Manchester Local Transport Plan.

Consultation on the transport blueprint for the next 15 years runs until 24 December 2010. The draft plan was published by the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.

Manchester Water Taxi said the service will be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative form of public transport and could reduce congestion within the city.

The service is due to launch in summer 2011 between Manchester Victoria and the Trafford Centre including stops at Spinningfields, Exchange Quay and Media City UK. The company's 12-metre boats seat up to 12 passengers and are accessible to wheelchairs, bikes and prams.

Dave Newton, GMPTE's transport strategy director, responded: "While we are supportive of the diversity that the water taxis would offer, GMITA and GMPTE have of course already ensured that there is an effective sustainable public transport link between the city centre, Exchange Quay and Media City in the form of Metrolink, which is well-linked to all parts of the city centre either directly or via interchange with the free Metroshuttle buses.

"There is a strong bus link from the city centre to the Trafford Centre, and as stated in the Local Transport Plan consultation brochure, we will seek to develop, subject to the availability of funds, a Metrolink extension through Trafford Park, connecting with the Trafford Centre, the new Salford stadium and Port Salford.

"However, we have been pleased to hear from the promoter of Manchester Water Taxis through the LTP consultation and will review how this concept could feed into the final LTP publication."

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I for one, really hope this scheme goes ahead. Amongst other things – it would be a fun and exciting way to get into work in the morning!

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