Seaton backs plan for water bus service

Funding a beach landing jetty would be first step in setting up a new seaborne transport network

SEATON could become a key staging post in a new drive to re-establish a seaborne transport network along the Jurassic Coast.

Supporters believe a regular “water bus” and pleasure craft service could provide a major boost for tourist resorts in East Devon and West Dorset.

But the plan requires a major investment in infrastructure – with a series of landing jetties required along the route, where boats can pull in to load and unload passengers.

Amongst those backing the plan is Seaton and District Chamber of Commerce which was amongst organisations attending a recent conference to push it forward.

Secretary Gaynor Sedgwick said the meeting discussed an exciting future for waterborne transport.

She told The Herald that investigations into its long term potential had shown it could offer an enhanced, reliable and realistic alternative transport opportunity for both functional and leisure journeys, and would enable integration with road bus services along the coast.

Most Read

“The challenges for setting up waterborne transport along the Jurassic Coast is that there is little infrastructure to enable passengers to embark and disembark, and it is this that is now being investigated,” she said.

“Seaton and District Chamber of Commerce are represented, along with Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, on a steering group looking into the opportunities for a temporary, in the first instance, jetty.

“There would need to be a number of jetties along the coast to enable leisure boats to run viable services. The steering group meet in early January and, although it is still early days, with support from public and private sectors this project is something that could really make a difference to the town.”

* Seaton did once boast a landing stage on the beach where passing pleasure boats could stop as local shopkeeper Chris Byrne Jones well remembers.

And he has supplied us with a photograph of him and his sister standing on it.

He said: “It is one which might put a smile on your face – it was taken many years ago which just goes to show that I was a cute little boy once!”