Ferry service to Tilbury returns to normal as Gravesend Town Pier reopens, but could it close again?
PUBLISHED: 16:16 22 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:20 22 June 2017
The council has assured no maintenance work is currently planned
A senior figure at Gravesend’s reopened town pier has warned passengers wanting to use the Tilbury ferry further closures could be on the way.
The pier’s pontoon was closed earlier this month amid safety fears after a routine inspection on June 5 by council workers revealed two of the four bolts connecting the pier with the walkway had come off.
The closure meant the town’s ferry service to Tilbury, the last Thames crossing before the river meets the sea, was stopped for the remainder of that week, and on June 12 it temporarily moved to West Street pier, five minutes walk away.
Jetstream Tours, which operates the ferry, announced services returned to running its normal service every 30 minutes on Thursday morning, after repair works on the pontoon, which officially opened in 2012, were completed on Wednesday afternoon.
But Stuart Tranter, manager at the council-owned pier, said: “Everything is back up and running as usual, but I expect we could carry out further works at some point in the near future, possibly around October time.
“The fault involved two bolts on the brow connecting steel and concrete, it does not pose any danger for passengers in any way, but it is an issue that needs fixing permanently.
“It’s not an issue with how it was built, these sort of issues only crop up after work is completed, but now we know the fault is there with the bolts it is best we address it rather than face further wear and tear in the future.
“The repairs shouldn’t take more than a few days and we would arrange them to have as little impact as possible on anyone using the pier or pontoon.”
Following its reopening, a spokesperson from Gravesham Borough Council said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused while the work was being carried out but the safety of the public is our top priority.
“Given the nature of the pier there will always need some maintenance work carrying out but there is nothing scheduled at the moment.”
The ferry service makes 26 crossings from each side from Monday to Saturday all year around from 5.40am to 7.10pm.