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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 01:22 GMT
Council tries out new hovercraft
Last year a larger scale trial took place between Fife and Edinburgh
A trial hovercraft journey has taken place along the Forth between Alloa in Clackmannanshire and Kirkcaldy in Fife.

The trip was an opportunity for councillors and officials to inspect the 12-seater craft's technology.

The operator Stagecoach has warned it has not yet put together a business case for a permanent service and there are no firm plans.

Councillors in Clackmannanshire hope the service could become a permanent fixture, which would boost tourism.

Last year thousands of people travelled across the Firth of Forth from Kirkcaldy to Portobello during a two-week trial of a much larger hovercraft which could carry up to 130 passengers.

'Tourism opportunities'

Clackmannanshire councillor Eddie Carrick was one of those on-board during Thursday's trial.

He said: "We will do everything to work along with Stagecoach to put that business plan together to ensure that it'll happen in Clackmannanshire.

"Even thinking coming along here and opening up our riverside, it'd be tremendous for Clackmannanshire, it's be tremendous for tourism opportunities in Clackmannanshire."

Mr Carrick also suggests extending the proposed route so it goes from Stirling to Alloa to Kirkcaldy.

"We would welcome that with open arms," he said.

"It would be tremendous for the day visitors to Clackmannanshire, along with the new bridge and the railway."

The hovercraft was taking time out from a survey of wintering birds on the Forth estuary for the trial.

The craft is making several trips across the Forth each day from Kirkcaldy to Portobello so the behaviour of birds around the island of Inchkeith can be studied.

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26 Jul 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
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23 Jul 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
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16 Jul 07 |  Scotland

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