Home Somerset rules A hydrogen ferry service through the Bristol Channel under consideration

A hydrogen ferry service through the Bristol Channel under consideration


A proposal for a hydrogen ferry service across the Bristol Channel has been discussed between council leaders. Swansea Council have held preliminary discussions with their counterparts in Devon and Cornwall over the service which will link the Welsh city and the South West of England.

Swansea Council has already said it will help provide a hub and early talks suggest hosting ferries to seaside towns in the South West of England could be key to the proposals. Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart is determined to revitalize the South Wales city’s proud maritime history.

He said: “It would be a huge boost for tourism and business – to think you could cut your journey time to Devon and Cornwall in half, and of course it would also have environmental benefits: removing the cars off the road and introduce green energy ferries.”

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The pleasure steamer Balmoral and the paddle steamer Waverley have offered occasional summer crossings through the Bristol Channel for many years, stopping at Swansea and Ilfracombe in North Devon, among other places. If the link were to be made, the use of hydrogen from renewables could be a major breakthrough for the transport sector, which emits the most greenhouse gases, by sector, in the UK.

This is not the first time a network service has been offered for the Bristol Channel. A year-round service of 50-minute journeys from Swansea and Ilfracombe was hoped to be launched by 2010 by a company called Severn Link.

At the time of the proposal, Severn Link founder Chris Marrow said: “There’s no doubt a lot of people are holidaying in the UK at the moment and in many ways I think that’s the perfect time to start.”

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