Visions – More on hovercrafts for Port Philip Bay
The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #55, 15 April 2008, compiled by Stephen Ingrouille. Going Solar, www.goingsolar.com.au/transport. This newsletter provides an excellent commentary on local sustainable transport issues in Melbourne.
Hovercraft on Port Phillip Bay
â€œA fleet of 10 custom-built hovercraft could be transporting thousands of commuters between Geelong and Melbourne daily. The air-cushioned boats could be built and tested locally, with a Victorian manufacturer said to be considering moving to Geelong. The move would bring millions of dollars to the region and create hundreds of jobs, city leaders say. Sustainable transport consultant Stephen Ingrouille has almost finished a feasibility study to run the ferries between Geelong, Port Melbourne, Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. â€˜Hovercraft are perfect for the bay because it’s shallow, Mr Ingrouille said. â€˜I’d be keen to see hovercraft built in the city because it’s an excellent way of replacing some of the manufacturing industry jobs. He said the newgeneration hovercraft would be efficient, relatively cheap to build and have minimal impact on the environment. They would hold 80-100 passengers and cross Port Phillip Bay at peak times. â€˜I’ve been looking at this for some years now, he said. â€˜I have looked at ferry services up and down the west coast of the US and other states of Australia. An efficient ferry system would ease congestion on the West Gate Bridge, and reduce reliance on trains and trams. Mr Ingrouille said the manufacturer was building a hovercraft to be used as a rescue vessel at Changi International Airport, Singapore. Councillor Tom O’Connor is pushing the hovercraft bid. â€˜It can’t happen soon enough, he said.â€
Ref: Kerri-Ann Hobbs, Geelong Advertiser, 9/4/08