FAQ's - Torpoint Ferry

Whilst in an ideal world it would be great to have the 3rd Ferry on standby to go into service at a moment's notice this is not viable for various reasons.

The ferries take about 20mins to get staff on board and go through all the start-up procedures and checks; they are closer to a commercial aircraft than your car in complexity.

There isn't normally enough 'spare' staff on duty, whilst we do have reliefs and we do multi-train some staff it would add huge costs to staff a non-running ferry for the occasions we need extra. There are also limitations on the hours that crews can work due to the Working Time Directive.

Maintenance is often being done on the 3rd Ferry which may mean it has parts stripped down so it is not able to run anyway. Similarly during their downtime they may be taking on fuel/water or undergoing inspections and testing by statutory bodies such as MCA or Lloyds.

That said if the problem is going to take a long time to solve it gives us more time to bring in staff (if available) or reallocate to either swap ferries or bring another into service and we do try and do that. Queues and delays are frustrating for customers which we obviously want to avoid, but they also cause extra pressure on ferries and staff which again we also want to avoid. We therefore always try and alleviate these issues but bringing the 3rd Ferry into service is unfortunately often not a viable solution.

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