Gravesend to Tilbury ferry services cancelled after Gravesend Town Pier declared "unsafe"
PUBLISHED: 14:23 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:27 06 June 2017
Ferry operators Jetstream Tours has apologised
Passengers crossing the Thames on board the Gravesend to Tilbury ferry are set to face disruption “until further notice” after the council closed access to Gravesend Town Pier.
Damage caused to the pier’s access bridge means it will be closed to the public until repairs have taken place.
The pier was initially closed at around 4pm on Monday night.
Ferry operator Jetstream Tours has been advised “repairs could effect the service for the next two weeks”, with all ferry services currently cancelled from Tuesday.
A spokesperson from the operator said: “Jetstream Tours urges customers that for at least the next few days to use alternative transport routes until further announcements on the service are made.
“Jetstream Tours apologises for any inconvenience caused.”
Gravesham Borough Council added: “We have removed access to the pontoon from which the ferry service goes from due to safety concerns. We are currently investigating what repairs need completing and how long this will take. We are sorry for any inconvenience but the safety of the public is our top priority.”
The ferry service, the last crossing before the Thames reaches the sea, typically runs 26 crossings from either side each day, setting off every 30 minutes.
Crossings normally take passengers between five and ten minutes for each journey.
In 2012 the service stopped running from West Street to the town pier, which dates back to the 19th century.
Stuart Tranter, manager at Gravesend Town Pier, explained what had happened.
He said: “A couple of bolts which connect the walkway with the pier at the top have come off.
“We don’t know if it’s through wear and tear or an unknown vessel has hit it particularly hard and sheared off the bolts.
“Right now we don’t know if the bolts are structurally significant, it could be relatively safe for the public, but of course we don’t want to take any chances, and we’re hoping to have the bolts replaced in the next few days.”