The cost of works will rise to more than £4.4 million and that is only the latest estimate.
|Repair work continues at Weymouth ferry berth three|
I have never been as optimistic about this repair project timescale and costs as Weymouth and Portland Borough Council seem to have been. Going back over some comments made by Condor Ferries since before the Olympic Games in 2012, it seems (reading between the lines), that they too did not share Weymouth's confidence that the repairs would be complete and operations from Weymouth would recommence in May of 2013. The date for the return of the ferry operator from Poole is now scheduled for July of this year, but it seems that even that date is questionable. The comment form Condor that "...The company is keen to return and will start sailings on July 17 – if the work is done." is a qualified one and does not seem particularly confident.
I have posted blog entries on a number of occasions prior to the Olympic Games, and since, expressing doubts in respect of the Harbour repair project, and the likelihood of Condor Ferries returning to their Weymouth operations.
( New Agenda 5th October 2012. http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/more-delay-on-weymouths-harbour-repairs.html )
This latest announcement of a further increase in the estimated cost of the repairs, together with more "technical" problems being uncovered again throws into doubt the completion date and consequently the return of Weymouth's major employer.
Had Weymouth and Portland Borough Council allowed Condor to operate from Portland while the repairs were carried out, this present uncertainty would have been avoided. The repairs could have been completed while Condor remained in Portland, but the decision to prevent the ferry operator making that short move while the repairs were carried out, on the grounds that "the increase in traffic through the town (Weymouth), would cause severe congestion on the new improved road system for Olympic Games visitors", is (another) bad decision that the Council and its members will ultimately regret.