Lymington ferries 'may harm salt marshes'

An MP has weighed into the debate over the new Lymington-Yarmouth ferries, two of which have already arrived in Lymington.

Desmond Swayne, conservative MP for New Forest West, told a Commons debate he was concerned that the ferries may harm the salt marshes that protect Lymington Harbour, which include protected wildlife under the European Habitats Directive.

He told the Daily Echo: “Wightlink has decided unilaterally that they will start using the new ferries from December.

“I am demanding that ministers take up the matter with the Department for Transport to see what legal restraints there are on Wightlink. It’s now time for ministers to call for a full environmental impact assessment, which it is in their power to do.”

The MP accused Wightlink of wanting to replace two ferries with “three gigantic” new vessels which, he said, would “intimidate the leisure yachtsmen of Lymington”, with potentially serious consequences for the economy.

He added: “I want to make sure due process takes place, with a full environmental assessment.”

Full Story: Daily Echo