After a number of unseasonal weather-related delays, Gosport Borough Council took delivery of its brand-new covered linkspan and pontoon on 22 June. The £5 million glass and metal structure, fabricated by Ravestein in Deest, Netherlands, was delivered on a crane barge towed by the tug MTS Vengeance.
The 58-tonne linkspan and 60m pontoon were subsequently installed on the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour over the weekend of 24-27 June, while a restricted ferry service operated from the nearby Endeavour Quay (formerly the Camper & Nicholson boatyard). After 28 years ofservice, the old pontoon had exceeded its life expectancy.
The initial cost of the new facility was met by the council and it has been leased to the Portsmouth Harbour Ferry Company for a period of 50 years. The ferry operator will be responsible for its maintenance and insurance. The Portsmouth-Gosport ferry service makes 70,000 crossings a year, carrying 3.6 million passengers.