Dismay as Lake boats delayed

Farihaven Lake
Farihaven Lake

Fairhaven Lake’s new fleet of boats have been delayed – leaving the attraction without its biggest earner throughout the summer holidays.

Ten new electric boats, costing £55,000, were bought to replace the original fleet, which was declared unsafe.

But issues with the supplier mean the boats won’t arrive until at least September.

And with the boats often raking in £2,000 per day for the council in the past, the authority is set to lose out on a huge chunk of cash.

The council withdrew its fleet of 17 motor boats at Christmas, after they were declared unsafe on health and safety grounds.

Just three plastic boats remain, and it is hoped a couple of the older motor boats can be revamped. Tourism bosses today reacted with dismay to the news.

Barbara Mackenzie, president of the Holiday Association of Lytham St Annes (HALSA) said: “This is a real blow, and especially disappointing because so much effort is being made to increase the number of visitors with more and more events taking place in St Annes and Lytham.

“A large number of people who stay at the hotels, as well as day visitors, make a point of going to Fairhaven Lake.”

Julie Vale, visitor officer at the RSPB visitor centre, which attracts 55,000 people a year to the lake, said: “It’s disappointing, as we were all looking forward to seeing the new boats. We were very pleased that we were getting new electrical boats at the lake that would be less disruptive to the birds and wildlife.”

Fylde has applied for a multi-million pound Heritage Lottery grant to revamp the entire lake, at the same time as work to repair and shore up sea defences takes place.

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “Our old style motorboats were declared unsafe on health and safety grounds.

“The council made the decision to spend £55,000 on buying a fleet of electrical boats, 10 of them.

“To date, we have failed to secure any replacements. We have three plastic boats at present.

“We should have one of the older boats converted into electric in one or two weeks.”