While Shrewsbury's Porthill Bridge is closed for essential maintenance work, the Sabrina Boat and The Boathouse pub have teamed up with Shrewsbury BID, with support from Shropshire Council, to introduce the replacement river shuttle.
The service will operate from 8am to 6pm each day, crossing from The Boathouse pub to the jetty in The Quarry, saving pedestrians the lengthy diversion route across the Welsh Bridge.
Porthill Bridge is expected to be closed for three weeks while Shropshire Council carries out maintenance work, and the river shuttle started today, costing £1 return for adults or £2.50 return for families.
Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “Porthill Bridge is an important route into Shrewsbury, and popular with people who want to enjoy The Quarry on their way into the town centre.
“We understand the need for this maintenance work, but we were keen to offer an alternative so people can continue to easily reach the town from Porthill during the closure.
“We are delighted to have been able to work with Sabrina Boat and The Boathouse to arrange the river shuttle service, which we hope will prove to be a popular way of getting into town.”
Dilwyn Jones, owner of the Sabrina Riverboat, said: “We are always happy to make more use of the river, and it’s great to be working with local partners to introduce this shuttle service while the footbridge is closed.
“We are using our picnic boat, which carries up to eight passengers at a time, and the crossing is a pleasant three minutes.
“As well as being a useful service, we hope people will enjoy spending a bit of time on the river, and if it’s popular we may look at doing something similar again in the future.”
Jim Littler, of The Boathouse, added: “A lot of our customers use Porthill Bridge to reach us, so we are very pleased to be part of the river shuttle project.
“It’s an ideal way of crossing the river, and with the jetty being in our beer garden it’s the perfect excuse to pause and enjoy a drink on your way in or out of town.”
With river levels fluctuating, people are advised to visit the Original Shrewsbury website at https://originalshrewsbury.com/porthill-shuttle to check whether the ferry is running each day.