LondonNet News Headlines
|Hovercraft to Get the Chop
- Fastest Channel crossers to go after 30 years
TRAVELLERS to mainland Europe were dealt a blow today with the news that hovercrafts will no longer make the short trip across the Channel.
Part propeller plane, part giant whoopee cushion, two hovercraft have ushered tourists to and from France for over 30 years and are the fastest way for passengers to cross the Channel. But from the end of this summer, they will be no more. In their place will be the slower catamaran-style Seacats which, though faster than traditional ferries, cannot match hovercrafts for sheer speed nor engineering chutzpah.
Indeed hovercraft make the trip from Dover to Calais in less time than trains through the much vaunted Channel Tunnel. Why, then, are hovercraft to be phased out? According to the company that runs them, Hoverspeed, they cost more to run than Seacats.
Hovercraft were invented by Sir Christopher Cockerill and are used mainly for military purposes, although there has been some talk of introducing the versatile and nimble machines as river buses on the Thames.