Armstrong confident Strangford Ferry will be fully operational this summer

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said she’s confident the new Department for Infrastructure has firm plans in place to keep the Strangford Ferry fully operational over the summer months.

The MLA for Strangford raised the issue after concerns arose when it emerged the back-up vessel is currently out of service, leading to questions over how the service would cope with the demands of the peak tourist season.

Kellie Armstrong MLA said: “2016 is going to be a big year for Portaferry. With the Sails and Sounds event, Gala Week, World Skiffie Championships and the planned reopening of Exploris, it is essential the ferry is available to cope with demand.

“With the back-up vessel currently out of operation, I contacted the Department for Infrastructure for assurances it had a significant plan in place to cope with the summer season.

“With confirmation the planning process takes into account and prepares accordingly for times when demand is expected to be higher, I am content measures and considerations are in place to ensure both locals and visitors have access to a first-rate service.

The Department have confirmed both ferries will be operational and will run the usual dual ferry system for peak times such as on the Portaferry Gala’s Friday Float Night.

“With this service playing a vital role in Portaferry life, I’ll continue to monitor the situation and will act immediately to rectify any problems with its provision.”

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