A COMMERCIAL ferry operator has expressed an interest in operating a commuter ferry service connecting Ballyvaughan and Galway City.

Following a trial service held over the summer, the Ballyvaughan Bay Hop group have been trying to entice a ferry operator to take on the route on an ongoing basis. The group contacted a number of North Clare residents last week, asking them to register their interest in a new service to begin in the spring of 2013.

Depending on the response from the people in the area, a limited full-time service could begin in February of next year.

“We have secured the interest of a private marine eco-tourism operator who is willing to provide a limited service that may be of interest from spring 2013,” said a statement from the Ballyvaughan Bay Hop group.

“However, we need to establish the minimum number of passengers this service is likely to attract in order to ensure it will be viable.”

The group are asking anyone interested to complete an online survey to detail their own interest in the service.

The Clare People understands that the new ferry operators will sail the route twice a day, bringing commuters from Ballyvaughan to Galway City and home again each evening. This service will save those on board approximately two hours each day of a commute time, compared to making the same journey by car.

A trial ferry service on the Ballyvaughan to Galway City route took place earlier this year. The service received great interest locally and many sailings were completely booked out.

Despite the large customer interest, however, the trial service was suspended after just three days following issues with the boat provider.

This commercial beginning of the Ballyvaughan Bay Hop follows years of work by a small group of local people in Ballyvaughan.

More information on the service as it becomes available can be located on www.ballyvaughanbayhop.org.

For more see The Clare People or see our Digital Edition.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of short stories can be viewed on Where The Rain Falls at https://wheretherainfallslifeemerges.blogspot.com/ Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on ahamilton@clarepeople.ie

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