The feasibility of running a river taxi in the Forth to link south Fife’s historic villages with Inchcolm island is being explored.
It’s hoped such a service would give a huge tourism boost to the area overlooked by the three Forth bridges, construction of which span three centuries.
Fife Council will undertake the study after a proposal put forward by Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay SNP councillor David Barratt to councillors on south and west Fife area committee.
He said there was an annual footfall of 117,000 visitors to the Forth Bridge – something achieved “without signage, facilities or marketing”.
With the opening of the new Queensferry Crossing, and the Forth Bridge’s World Heritage status, not to mention the efforts of Cruise Forth in welcoming international cruise ship passengers berthing in the Forth, the Pilgrim’s Way and the Outlander effect, visitor numbers are expected to swell.
Coastal tourism represented a significant opportunity for the area and so he suggested the council look – with partners – at the river taxi connecting Kincardine, Culross, Limekilns, Rosyth, North Queensferry, Aberdour and Inchcolm island.
The island is already a tourist attraction, but at present the only sailings are from South Queensferry.
Previous ferries to the island from Aberdour and North Queensferry stopped back in the 1990s.
Mr Barratt said he was pleased to get the backing of the local committee for the economy-boosting plan.
“The initiative is recognition of the enormous potential on our doorstep to develop coastal tourism and build on the increasing importance of tourism for the local economy,” he said.
“I see the proposed scope as a starting point with potential to expand the initiative to the wider Forth with the potential to link with Stirling, Falkirk and Edinburgh.”
With the three bridges acting as a magnet for tourists to the surrounding areas, he said: “We should ensure Fife is an integral part of this economy and that visitors see the area as a destination worth visiting and not passing by.”