THE LONG-RUNNING ‘will they / won’t they’ between Angus Council and the proposed Arbroath slipway could soon be over.
On Tuesday the infrastructures services committee agreed to develop the existing slipway near the Inchcape Park pumping station.
The project would cost around £124,000 altogether, including marking safe passage to the harbour mouth, lighting and signs, and it was hoped funding could be found in the budget process.
Arbroath councillors appear to be pleased with the outcome. Councillor Bob Spink, who along with Councillor Alex King was one of the first to highlight the need for a public slipway, said: “It is very rarely I am able to say I have read a report where I agree with almost every word.”
Councillor Spink maintains this current proposal closely mimics one he has made before: “About three years ago now I think, at a site meeting with the head of roads I outlined my thoughts for a small boat slipway behind the pumping station.
“I was told that even if it were engineeringly possible it would be too expensive, which I found a peculiar assumption since it had never been costed.”
He added: “We now have a paper which almost exactly matches my proposals of all that time ago, even to accessing the sand to launch at low tide and the forming of a buoyed channel for safe entry to the water. Adequate nearby parking and free at that, at the users own risk and away from the busy harbour activity. What more could we ask?”
Councillor Alex King, who has long been involved in the campaign, added: “Obviously it was 2007 when I first raised this with Bob Spink at the infrastructure services committee, so it has taken an awful long time to reach something that is practical.
“I only hope we can find the cash quickly to carry it forward.”
Councillor David Fairweather, another vocal supporter, said: “Although it has taken four years to get this far, I find it astonishing that the idea of a slipway was first mooted over eight years ago.
“May I assure those who want the slipway to happen, I will be pushing hard for it to come through our budget process.”