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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 December, 2004, 06:20 GMT
3m to improve 'beautiful' ferry
King Harry Ferry
About one million passengers use the ferry each year
About 3m is to be spent improving and enlarging a ferry in Cornwall named to sail among the 10 most beautiful crossings in the world.

The King Harry Ferry at Feock takes 23 cars and their passengers on a 450yd (412m) trip across the River Fal.

The owners of the King Harry say the present ferry is 30 years old and nearing the end of its useful life.

The new King Harry will begin working in 2006 when its capacity will have increased by a third.

Tourism improvements

The owners of the King Harry said it was designed to carry 28 cars on every crossing, but modern cars were longer and wider so 23 is now the maximum.

The new ferry will take 34 cars on every journey and the company says it will be more environmentally-friendly as it will be quieter and use less fuel.

Carleen Keleman from the Objective One fund said about 1m of European Union cash will be donated towards the project, with the ferry company finding the rest.

Ms Keleman said the investment in a new ferry would bring improvements for both tourism and business as queues should be cut in the summer.

The first steam ferry service across the Fal from Feock to Philleigh on the Roseland peninsula started in 1888.

The current ferry has been in service from 1974. It carried 300,000 cars and a million people last year.

In a report compiled by independent travel writer Ryan Levitt, the ferry was described as amongst the most picturesque in the world because of its view of the river, rivalling Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and the Grand Canal in Venice.

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