Hull-based Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire MEP, Mike Hookem, has written to city councillors asking them to consider the derelict former fishing docks at St Andrew’s Quay as a potential location for the city’s proposed £55 million cruise terminal, saying; “it would be a fitting tribute to the six thousand fishermen who left the dock, never to return.”
Mr Hookem, who lost his brother in the 1968 sinking of the Ross Cleveland, said the council’s current favoured location at Sammy’s Point, close to the city centre, was “unsuitable for a wide range of reasons.”
Speaking from his Hessle office, Mr Hookem explained, “While I am very excited at the prospect of bringing cruise ships to the River Humber, I have to agree with residents of Victoria Dock who are concerned about potential pollution; growing traffic issues; and the impact on their daily lives.”
Mr Hookem continued, “cruise ships continue to run their engines to provide electrical power to the ship throughout the time they are berthed. As the housing, schools and amenities that surround Sammy’s Point already suffer high levels of pollution, I would suggest the addition of fuel oil particulates from cruise ships would be very unwelcome.”
“Added to this will be congestion and pollution from the hundreds of coaches that will be required to shuttle passengers to various locations around Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, not to mention the lack of access and parking in the area. Cruise operators use coach trips as a part of their business model to bolster per passenger earnings. Therefore, facilities to aid passenger coach travel would be critical in attracting operators to the new terminal.
“However, positioning the proposed terminal at St Andrew’s Dock would solve many of these issues. This currently derelict site is away from residential areas; close to road links that could easily serve various locations in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire; has room for both coach and car parking, and could be redeveloped to the benefit of the whole community.
“As someone who grew up in the proud traditions of the Hessle Road fishing community, I think locating the new cruise terminal at St Andrew's would also be a fitting tribute to the 6,000 fishermen who left the dock, never to return.
“Having now met with local business people and the majority landowner of the St Andrew's Dock area, I also know that plans and investment are already in the pipeline for this historic location. With the prospect of locating the cruise terminal there, I am confident that other private and public investment can also be attracted to build an area that will rival Liverpool’s own Albert Dock renovations.
“I also know that the current landowner is prepared to make a market rate offer for the Lord Line building to consolidate the ownership of the site and secure this important piece of Hull’s heritage for the people.
“I believe that by working together, we can not only add a great facility to our city but also grasp a unique opportunity to redevelop a historically important area that otherwise could be lost forever.”