Published: March 28, 2011
New commercial hovercraft service may launch in Burnham-On-Sea

A new commercial hovercraft service could soon launch in Burnham-On-Sea, providing commuters and holidaymakers with trips to South Wales, we can reveal.

Chris Marrow, the entrepreneur behind previous plans to launch a ferry service in the Bristol Channel, has told this week how he is investigating the viability of starting a new cross-channel hovercraft operation from Burnham, which could create a number of new jobs in the town.

He had initially planned to launch his Severnlink ferry service from Ilfracombe last year, but when a principal financial backer withdrew from that project, it prompted a review.

"We’re now looking at running 95-seater hovercrafts between Burnham, Weston and Penarth. Such crafts would be more immune to the tides and be considerably cheaper to operate than ferries," Chris, pictured above, told on Monday.

"A commercial hovercraft did operate in Burnham many years ago and I feel it would work well again now, catering for commuters wanting to get to Wales and holidaymakers during the tourist season."

He says the trip to Penarth from Burnham beach take approximately 15-20 minutes, with a shuttle bus taking users into nearby Cardiff on the Welsh side.

"I wouldn’t want to raise anyone’s hopes too high because these are early plans, but the costs do look favourable and I think it is commercially viable."

Burnham town councillor Neville Jones, who is a strong supporter of Mr Marrow's plans, said this week the development is "very encouraging."

He told "This could potentially deliver Burnham with a big financial boost, creating new jobs and bringing more visitors and income to the town. It is very good news indeed."

Mr Marrow said he has already looked at several types of hovercraft for the service, adding that they would be fully enclosed from the weather and seat around 95 people.

More details are expected to be announced in the weeks to come.

Pictured, top, are entrepreneur Chris Marrow during a visit to Burnham Town Council and, above, with Burnham councillor Neville Jones


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