Hovercraft cash secured

Stagecoach has submitted a planning application to Fife and Edinburgh City Councils for a terminal at Portobello as part of a permanent hovercraft service.

The announcement, twoand-a-half years after a successful pilot on the proposed cross-Forth route between Portobello and Kirkcaldy, has come in the wake of £14 million in funding for the project that was secured just before Christmas.

Stagecoach has now lodged plans for a ferry terminal next to Lothian Buses' depot on Seafield Road. "Obviously there are a number of steps to this process and we have now submitted planning applications for terminals on either side of the Forth," a spokesman said.

"If these are approved, it will take roughly 18 months to get the terminals constructed and start the service. However, we have not set any specific date and are still in discussions with both local authorities."

He added: "There would be significant benefits to both areas for local shops and businesses, and so we are seeking some public sector funding for this project."

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