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Sandbanks ferry devastating our trade, say business owners

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Businesses in Swanage say the closure of the Sandbanks Ferry is devastating for trade.

Exactly one month ago today it was withdrawn from service because of a fault.

The chain ferry runs between Sandbanks and Studland, crossing Poole Harbour. It means drivers face around a 45 minute detour along the A351 past Corfe Castle to reach the other side of the bay.

It was due to reopen today (12/08) - but now it's not expected to reopen until October because of a delay in sourcing parts.

  • Watch this report by Richard Slee:

When the Sandbanks Ferry was towed away for repairs, we were told it would be back in action on 12th August, but the route across the entrance of Poole Harbour remains closed.

That's bad news for Jocelyn Parsons who owns the Studlands store, where trade is half what it was before the ferry stopped.

  • Jocelyn Parsons, shop owner

92 year old Keith Dando is the main career for his 83 year old terminally ill wife. A few weeks ago, he suffered a stroke and had to wait much longer for an ambulance.

  • Keith Dando, Studland Resident

In Swanage, the effect of the loss of the ferry on local businesses has been described as 'devastating.'

  • Cllr Mike Bonfield, Mayor of Swanage

The ferry company has apologised for any inconvenience saying that the delay in the repair time is because the ferry needs a specialist component which is being manufactures abroad.

The ferry won't be back up and running until October at the earliest.

The only people who are enjoying this extended closure are the sailors, who for now have more room to manoeuvre.

The only people who are enjoying this extended closure are the sailors Credit: ITV Meridian