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Provision of harbour water taxi service

30 June 2016
In previous years, Cowes Harbour has benefited from multiple water taxi operators, with most of the service provided by CHC and Sally Water Taxi Ltd, offering an all-year-round 7-day-a-week service. This service was supplemented in peak periods by other summer-only operators, and during the winter by our CHC patrol vessels, which are also licenced to carry passengers. 

Due in part to the current economic situation and additional contributing factors including competition from other operators in peak business periods, and a decline in visitor numbers requiring a taxi service, Sally Water Taxi informed CHC that they would be scaling back their operation significantly for the 2016 season. 

Up until the end of May, CHC’s Patrol Officers provided the mid-week water taxi service, however, it is not practicable to continue this through the peak summer months as it would impact on the delivery of our statutory duties. 

In order to ensure the provision of a cost-effective 7-day-a-week water taxi service that meets the needs of harbour stakeholders during the main 2016 sailing season, CHC has taken the decision to outsource the summer service to local company Sally Water Taxi.

For the period up to 30th September 2016 at least, CHC will therefore make a stakeholder benefit contribution towards Sally Taxi’s operational costs to enable a 7-day-a-week service to be delivered. This supported water taxi service will benefit all harbour users, including CHC’s licenced mooring holders, visitors to swinging moorings and river pontoons, and marina customers.

CHC will then review the available options for continuing delivery of a water taxi service prior to the 2017 season; this might include conducting a full tender process for water taxi service provision within Cowes Harbour.

The normal operating hours for the Sally Water Taxi service up to 30th September 2016 will be as follows:
Monday - Friday: 0900 to 2100
Saturday: 0900 to 2330
Sunday: 0900 to 1800

The service may be available outside of normal operating hours subject to booking in advance.

Passenger fees during the timetabled operating hours:

Fares Structure Single* Return*
Town Quay to Venture Quays  £2.00  
TQ to Grid Iron £2.00
TQ to moorings (Inner Harbour)£2.00
TQ to day class moorings (Cowes Roads)£3.00
TQ to J and M moorings (Cowes Roads)£4.00 
East Cowes Marina to Whitegates£2.00
ECM/Whitegates to Trinity Landing£4.00£5.00
ECM to Town Quay£4.00
ECM to J and G pontoons (Folly Reach)£4.00 £5.00
J and G pontoons (Folly Reach) to TQ£5.00
Minimum fare £2.00  
*Children under 12 half price

a) Return tickets are valid on the day of issue only
b) All out-of-hours fares are subject to 50% surcharge
c) Return tickets after midnight on Saturdays are subject to £2.00 surcharge

Note: Fares to and from Town Quqy to Folly Inn and the CHC pontoons A to F in Folly Reach are covered by the Folly Waterbus at £7.00 single / £10 return and to Island Harbour £8.00 single / £10.00 return.

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