Wind farms may affect TT routes

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CONCERN has been raised about plans to develop wind farms which may impede Isle of Man crossings from Heysham and Liverpool.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company says the planned wind farm construction in the Irish Sea could threaten the future of the Liverpool route, reduce TT services and lead to higher levels of cancellations.

Steam Packet Company chief executive Mark Woodward said: “Centrica met various shipping companies in January, outlining their latest thinking and they suggested a “worst case” – their words – scenario, based on fast craft crossing times, of three minutes extra on our passage to Heysham and seven minutes extra on our Liverpool route. With a conventional ferry this would increase to 15 extra minutes’ sailing time.

“We strongly objected on behalf of the Isle of Man, pointing out that an extra 15 minutes would make it physically impossible to operate winter Ben-my-Chree Birkenhead services, while twice daily Liverpool services could also be impossible in certain situations.”

A spokesperson for Centrica Plc said: We must stress that the location of the individual projects has yet to be determined as this will be the next stage of the development which will again involve working very closely with key consultees such as Steam Packet. We’re keen to ensure that projects do not impact on the safety or wellbeing of Steam Packet customers.”

See The Visitor (10-04-12) for full story.