Gerry Brownlee has announced:
The outcome of a study into the commercial viability of a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay in Marlborough has concluded Picton should remain as the southern terminal for the inter-island ferries, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today.
Over the past year a Ministry of Transport-led expert team has been testing whether Clifford Bay could be delivered as a fully privately funded project.
“We have been delivered a thorough and robust report which clearly shows Clifford Bay is not commercially viable as a fully privately funded project, and the level of investment required at Picton over the next decade to extend its life would be substantially less than previously estimated,” Mr Brownlee says.
The project team estimated a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay could be delivered by 2022, at a cost of $525 million. This left a gap the Government would have been required to fill to induce private sector investment in the construction and operation of the terminal.
Good for Picton, good for taxpayers but bad for travellers and freight.
It would have been great if the business case stacked up, as Clifford Bay would both significantly shorten both the time at sea (no having to slow down for Marlborough Sounds) and the time between docking and reaching Christchurch. The time saved would have been between 80 and 110 minutes which is huge.
But the amount of money needed was too great it seems, plus the costs of remaining at Picton turned out to be lower than previously expected (which is good)