WATER buses could make a return to Bournemouth and Boscombe piers as part of an ongoing review of transport networks.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of BCP Council, cabinet member for transport, councillor Andy Hadley, said he was “keen” to investigate their feasibility as part of efforts to tackle congestion.

But he admitted a year-round service would be “complicated” with neither pier having sheltered docking points.

His comments followed a suggestion by former Bournemouth councillor Phil Stanley-Watts that a water bus service could provide an alternative to driving.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, he said more use should be made of the sea in reducing traffic levels across the Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch conurbation.

“This is one of the most congested parts of the country without any real decent land infrastructure but we make no use of our coast,” he said.

He said a water taxi service could provide an alternative for commuters and tourists.

Responding to his suggestion on Tuesday, Cllr Hadley said the council would be willing to explore the feasibility of a ferry service between Poole Quay and the two piers.

“I have been involved in previous attempts to consider water buses for wider use across the area and it is certainly a resource that we do not make full use of,” he said.

“To run a year-round service along our coastline without a sheltered place to dock in Bournemouth or Boscombe would be challenging.

“But ferries do frequently run during the summer between Swanage Pier and Poole Quay and it would be great to get them running to Boscombe and Bournemouth piers again.”

He added that any service would fall under the jurisdiction of Poole Harbour Commissioners and that support would be needed from the coastguard.

Blue Line Cruises ended its service to Bournemouth Pier in 2013 and subsequent efforts to find a replacement firm to take on the contract failed.

Bournemouth council also considered plans for a water taxi service in 2007 in a bid to reduce congestion.