Suffolk

Felixstowe to Bawdsey foot ferry jetty to be rebuilt

Felixstowe and Bawdsey ferry
Image caption Passengers have had to use a plank to get in and out of the boat on the far bank

A deteriorated jetty at a river crossing is to be rebuilt for one of Suffolk's historic foot ferries.

Suffolk Coast & Heaths is spending £10,000 on a new jetty at Bawdsey.

The existing structure is closed, meaning the boat from Felixstowe has to land on the beach.

Andrew Moore, who runs the ferry, said: "If it was kept like that I wouldn't keep running - people don't like walking down the gang plank to be honest."

A ferry crossing at the mouth of the River Deben is believed to have existed since the 12th Century.

It is one of four foot ferries on the Suffolk Coastal Path with the others at Shotley, Butley and Southwold.

'Vital link'

Mr Moore, managing director of Felixstowe Ferry Boat Yard Ltd, said: "We don't make much money out of it - we do it because it's always been run.

"It's very important for tourists, you get a lot of people from Holland and Belgium, and it's a vital link for cyclists.

"The existing jetty is made from soft larch wood and it's got a beetle in it, while the new one will be made of hard wood that should last for 15 years."

Money for the work has come from the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty sustainable development fund - representing a quarter of the fund's budget this year.

The ferry runs at weekends and will become a seven-day service from the start of May.

The boatyard expects the new jetty to be ready by mid-June.

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