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Hampton Loade ferry: 2015 onwards
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Graham



Joined: 21 May 2011
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Location: The banks of the River Severn as it meanders through the sun dappled leafy glades of Worcestershire

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spoke with someone on Hampton Loade station last year who claimed to be the ferry owner.
I can't remember the exact figures, but I think he said that during busy summer weekends, he would carry 1000 people across the river at 50p each way.
With a capacity of 12 passengers and assuming an 8 hour working day, that's about one fully loaded trip every six minutes.
I was a bit sceptical, it never looked that busy when I saw it working, and joked that I would lash a few pallets together and set up a rival business 100 yards downstream for 40p per trip.

The ferry cost £17000 and was funded by the Countryside Agency.
£17000 sounds a lot to me for a simple wooden raft, but then, being a government agency, that'll be £1000 for materials, £1000 for labour and £15000 for administration.

The ferry was for sale for £50000 a few years ago. Again,that sounds a lot to me. What do you actually get for your money? A raft, a couple of poles and some cables? The car park? Which admittedly does look busy, but not 1000 passengers a day busy.

It would be interesting to know a bit more about the business and whether the SVR, Dudmaston Estate, or maybe some other group or individual, could take it on and run it at a profit.
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Joe2027



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham wrote:
I spoke with someone on Hampton Loade station last year who claimed to be the ferry owner.
I can't remember the exact figures, but I think he said that during busy summer weekends, he would carry 1000 people across the river at 50p each way.
With a capacity of 12 passengers and assuming an 8 hour working day, that's about one fully loaded trip every six minutes.
I was a bit sceptical, it never looked that busy when I saw it working, and joked that I would lash a few pallets together and set up a rival business 100 yards downstream for 40p per trip.

The ferry cost £17000 and was funded by the Countryside Agency.
£17000 sounds a lot to me for a simple wooden raft, but then, being a government agency, that'll be £1000 for materials, £1000 for labour and £15000 for administration.

The ferry was for sale for £50000 a few years ago. Again,that sounds a lot to me. What do you actually get for your money? A raft, a couple of poles and some cables? The car park? Which admittedly does look busy, but not 1000 passengers a day busy.

It would be interesting to know a bit more about the business and whether the SVR, Dudmaston Estate, or maybe some other group or individual, could take it on and run it at a profit.


If the SVR took it on, it doesn’t matter if the river crossing made a profit, as long as the loss is not that big. The river crossing enhances the visit to Hampton Loade.
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Stato



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Putting a footbridge over would give us all year round access. How much would that cost?
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Graham



Joined: 21 May 2011
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Location: The banks of the River Severn as it meanders through the sun dappled leafy glades of Worcestershire

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a rough guide, the foot & cycle bridge further down the Severn at Diglis cost £2.2 million in 2010.
Even if a bridge was cheaper and had a tollgate to provide an income, as Joe says, the ferry is an attraction in itself. Crossing on a ferry is a bit of an adventure compared to walking over the footbridges at Country Park or Arley
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Peter Share



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:30 pm    Post subject: Ferries Reply with quote

I remember, as a scout 50 years ago, doing a hike around Bewdley and the Svern Valley. We crossed the Severn on Arley ferry.
It was certainly preferable to a soulless bridge as they have now, but who would maintain the upkeep of the ferry and be there day in day out, rain or shine, to operate it.
As far as Hampton ferry is concerned, I thought I heard 2 or 3 years ago, that the SVR were offered the opportunity of running the ferry - but more volunteers would be necessary, the pot would get spread more thinly.

Peter
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Stato



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham wrote:
As a rough guide, the foot & cycle bridge further down the Severn at Diglis cost £2.2 million in 2010.
Even if a bridge was cheaper and had a tollgate to provide an income, as Joe says, the ferry is an attraction in itself. Crossing on a ferry is a bit of an adventure compared to walking over the footbridges at Country Park or Arley
true but it makes crossing the river very restrictive at HL.
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Graham



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Location: The banks of the River Severn as it meanders through the sun dappled leafy glades of Worcestershire

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the same way that the SVR's timetable makes travelling from Hampton Loade to Bridgnorth or Kidderminster very restrictive? Wink

I guess it comes down to whether a crossing at that point would be a public amenity, in which case a bridge open 24/7/365 would be the best option if the cost could be justified, or a seasonal tourist attraction, which may need to be financially self supporting.

As another price guide, the Arley footbridge cost £43500 in 1964.
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Danny252



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham wrote:
As another price guide, the Arley footbridge cost £43500 in 1964.


Which price converters give as somewhere between £0.7 million and £2 million today.
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Robin



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham wrote:

As another price guide, the Arley footbridge cost £43500 in 1964.


Interesting when you consider that three years later, the whole of the SVR from Bridgnorth to Alveley only cost £25,000. Very Happy
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KJEvans



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robin wrote:
Graham wrote:

As another price guide, the Arley footbridge cost £43500 in 1964.


Interesting when you consider that three years later, the whole of the SVR from Bridgnorth to Alveley only cost £25,000. Very Happy

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Lench_S



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:28 pm    Post subject: Re: H. Loade ferry Reply with quote

bradleyman wrote:
Lench_S wrote:
Stato wrote:
Went to look at the HL ferry at the weekend and got a shock. It is not working and looks in a bad way half out the water leaning over & tied to the bank. Will it ever work again?


With the current owner I doubt it. Its supposedly up for sale - has not run since 2013 and apparently it was left in the river either this or last winter which has wrecked it.

It is very inconveniencing for people who would otherwise get off at Hampton Loade and walk to Dudmaston, The River and Rail etc. or park that side in the National Trust car park and come over and catch the train etc. This has all stopped.


So is there any prospect of HL station staff taking the operation over?


I certainly wouldn't have thought so. We are seriously struggling for platform staff as it is. Several people at Hampton Loade have mentioned a bridge to be the only sustainable way forward, given the sporadic nature of the ferry operation since the two sisters passed away.
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Lench_S



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham wrote:
I spoke with someone on Hampton Loade station last year who claimed to be the ferry owner.
I can't remember the exact figures, but I think he said that during busy summer weekends, he would carry 1000 people across the river at 50p each way.
With a capacity of 12 passengers and assuming an 8 hour working day, that's about one fully loaded trip every six minutes.
I was a bit sceptical, it never looked that busy when I saw it working, and joked that I would lash a few pallets together and set up a rival business 100 yards downstream for 40p per trip.

The ferry cost £17000 and was funded by the Countryside Agency.
£17000 sounds a lot to me for a simple wooden raft, but then, being a government agency, that'll be £1000 for materials, £1000 for labour and £15000 for administration.

The ferry was for sale for £50000 a few years ago. Again,that sounds a lot to me. What do you actually get for your money? A raft, a couple of poles and some cables? The car park? Which admittedly does look busy, but not 1000 passengers a day busy.

It would be interesting to know a bit more about the business and whether the SVR, Dudmaston Estate, or maybe some other group or individual, could take it on and run it at a profit.


If it was Darren then yes he is always sat on a bench at the station and is the owner. The word exaggeration is key here - it is reputedly up for sale at £1m this year.......

The Car Park on the Hampton Loade side of the river is owned and operated by the National Trust. I do recommend a visit to see the wooden pole with around 5 notices stapled to it proclaiming FERRY OPEN - FERRY CLOSED - FERRY OPEN - FERRY not operating due to staff illness etc etc!!

I had a conversation recently with a former member of paid staff who was telling me how the SVR considered taking it on a few years back when it first ceased but various things such as red tape would have gotten in the way. Stuff along the lines of the schoolchildren visiting Dudmaston from the railway would all need lifejackets, restricted numbers each crossing, risk assessments, which would mean kids both sides of the river, etc etc.

If it could be viable then great. Hampton Loade is a funny place - can be very busy or very quiet indeed. As a standalone business I don't think it could work. The Hampton Loade community trust ran it very regularly for a year or two before the owner took it back and the organisation has now been wound up.

If the ferry operation could be absorbed into the SVR - fantastic - but I would ask how it would be operated when normally it's on call with the ferry master çoming out when people ring the mobile at quiet times. Hampton Loade station staff would struggle to staff it, and how would the railway obtain it without paying the extortionate price!

A footbridge would be a costly yet pretty much on off investment with would provide guaranteed access for the all important walkers AYR.
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hunter_i



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the National trust own both the Estate and the car park on our side of the river could they be approached about funding/partial funding of a footbridge? Is there a public need for a river crossing which could attract Government funding?
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Lench_S



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hunter_i wrote:
If the National trust own both the Estate and the car park on our side of the river could they be approached about funding/partial funding of a footbridge? Is there a public need for a river crossing which could attract Government funding?


Just to clarify, National Trust have the car park on the Hampton Loade side of the river, which is the Dudmaston side i.e. not the side the railway is on. The railway and station are on the Hampton side, for that is the name of the hamlet that side.
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Graham



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Location: The banks of the River Severn as it meanders through the sun dappled leafy glades of Worcestershire

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
...how would the railway obtain it without paying the extortionate price

Would we need to? As I said, what do you actually get for your money?
There's a lot of "ifs", but if the SVR could rent a small patch of land from the National Trust and another from whoever owns the opposite bank (the caravan site? Unicorn Inn?), why not ignore whatever equipment has been abandoned on site and build our own raft and associated cables and slipways?
Assuming my half remembered figures above are exaggerations, does anyone know what the true running costs and income are likely to be?
Could it be run at a profit with paid staff?
Could it be run at an acceptable loss with subsidies from SVR, Dudmaston Estate and Unicorn Inn as a tourist attraction in its own right that creates extra business for all three?
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