A FORMER mayor of Bourne-mouth has asked whether boat trips will operate again from Bournemouth Pier.

Cllr Phil Stanley-Watts told fellow councillors at Tuesday’s council meeting at the town hall: “This summer was the first time that there was no boat operator from Bournemouth Pier.”

He asked whether there were any plans in place to reintroduce an operator from the pier for next summer and also questioned whether the landing stages, which are in need of attention, could be fixed.

Cllr Lawrence Williams, cabinet member for leisure, tourism and culture, said that rising costs and a reduction in the number of passengers had led to the current situation.

He added that the site wasn’t ideal for boat trips and said that the last operator, Blue Line Cruises, left at the end of 2013.

The contract was put out to tender, he said, but only one operator came forward and was unable to make a viable go of it.

He added: “The service will be re-tendered this winter.”

He also said that a survey was being carried out on the landing stages, but it would cost around £1 million to fix all of them and the feasibility of funding would have to be looked in to.

In previous years, Bourne-mouth Pier has been a departure point for a mixture of pleasure boat rides, as well as a white-knuckle powerboat experience, but this year it has not hosted a regular operator.

It was still used during the Bournemouth Air Festival to ferry visitors and dignitaries to and from the Royal Navy ships that moor in the bay.