SEStran Press Releases
News Archive

Date: 19th February 2008

SEStran disappointed at decision to halt work on hovercraft

Calls for an urgent meeting with Stagecoach

SEStran is deeply disappointed at Stagecoach’s decision to cease any further development of the proposal to establish a hovercraft service between Kirkcaldy and Edinburgh, until the company receives clarification over future public sector involvement and financial backing.

Having backed the trial service with £92,000 of public funding, SEStran were encouraged by its success, and by Stagecoach’s 24th October announcement
that "a clear business case exists for establishing a permanent hovercraft
service between Kirkcaldy and Leith”.

SEStran Chair, Cllr Russell Imrie said:
"When SEStran met Stagecoach, we expressed our support for the project,
but both parties recognised that much more work needed to be done on the
business plan, before any commitment for public funding could be made.
Stagecoach agreed to develop the plan further and we are surprised at this
sudden turn of events."

"SEStran supports the scheme in principle, but we must be confident that a
solid business case exists. The scheme will also be subject to a STAG
evaluation to ensure that it warrants becoming a priority for public spending.
In the meantime, we have commissioned legal advice exploring ways in which
the project could be supported and procured without breaching EU rules".

"Stagecoach deserve praise for their initiative in carrying out the trial service.
This is precisely the kind of innovative thinking needed to ensure that the
South East of Scotland develops an integrated transportation system, fit for
the 21st century. We will be seeking an early meeting with Stagecoach to
explore ways forward for this project".