It was only in February this year that Salford Star reported the "massive" total cost to the public of handing out £756,000 to fund landing stages for the oft hyped Water Taxis, or Waxis, running between Chapel Wharf, near The Lowry Hotel, and MediaCityUK (see previous Salford Star article – click here).
That cost has now risen to an even more massive £941,020, due to "more complex and the technical challenges of installing infrastructure to mitigate against low and high water levels, the condition of existing river walls, the requirement for dredging and the desire to ensure DDA compliant bridge access to the landing stages", according to the latest Salford City Council report on the project.
While most of the money is coming from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) funds, via the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), both Salford and Trafford Councils are contributing towards the cost.
While the LSTF is coughing up £801,560, Salford Council is paying £24,460 (up from £22,500), and Trafford Council is chucking in £115,000 to make sure there's a landing stage for the waxi to stop at the Imperial War Museum North.
Urban Vision lands a £27,332 `delivery and supervision fee' from the deal, while Birse gets a contract worth £841,297 for the actual construction of the five waxi stops which will cost well over £150,000 each.
While the public pays for the landing stages, the actual preferred operator of the service will be a private profit making company, and Peel Ports, which owns the waterway, will also eventually cash in. Huge property company, Bruntwood, also owns the land where the Chapel Wharf /Lowry Hotel stop will be based.
Already, Agecroft Rowing Club, is objecting to the waxis, as its rowers - including those training for the Rio 2016 Olympics - use the route on a daily basis.
The five waxi stops, or landing stages, are Chapel Wharf, Ordsall Hall waterfront, Old Trafford, Imperial War Museum and MediaCityUK. The waxi service is intending to start running in Easter 2014