Planning application submitted for the upgrade of Stena Line’s Birkenhead terminal

 The pontoon and existing bridge to the shore at Birkenhead 12 quays.  Copyright © Scott Mackey.

The pontoon and existing bridge to the shore at Birkenhead 12 quays.  Copyright © Scott Mackey.

The Mersey Docks and Harbours company have submitted a planning application to upgrade the berth at the 12 Quays terminal at Birkenhead, in anticipation of the potential arrival of new vessel(s) on the Stena Line service from Belfast.  

 The pontoon and existing bridge to the shore at Birkenhead 12 quays.  Copyright © Scott Mackey.
The pontoon and existing bridge to the shore at Birkenhead 12 quays.  Copyright © Scott Mackey.

The application is for modifications to be made to the South berth to allow the twin-tier loading and unloading of vehicles.   The present pontoon would be retained but with the addition of a new raised section above the existing ramp.  This would be connected to shore via a hinged bridge, which will allow the pontoon to rise and fall with the tide in the same way the current bridge does.

Diagram showing the proposed new layout of the berths at 12 quays Birkenhead. The area in red is the proposed upper deck ramp, bridge, and linkspan. The areas in grey are the existing roadway and pontoon while the existing bridge is marked in blue.
Diagram showing the proposed new layout of the berths at 12 quays Birkenhead. The area in red is the proposed upper deck ramp, bridge, and linkspan. The areas in grey are the existing roadway and pontoon, while the existing bridge is marked in blue.

There will also be some changes made to lighting, as well as necessary adjustments to fendering needed to accommodate larger vessels.

Rendering of the new Stena E-Flexer class. All four vessels are now confirmed as earmarked for Stena's routes from Belfast. Stena Line.
Rendering of the new Stena E-Flexer class. Stena Line.

Although it is widely expected, Stena Line have not yet confirmed that the Belfast to Birkenhead service will receive any of the five new vessels which are currently on order from the AVIC Weihai shipyard in China.  The first of these vessels is expected to be delivered around the end of 2019, though no route has yet been publicly announced for any of the vessels which are going to Stena Line.  One each of the five vessels have been ordered to be chartered to Brittany Ferries and DFDS, with Stena Line receiving the remaining three.

STENA MERSEY. Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 22nd February 2017
STENA MERSEY is one of the two sister-ships currently serving the Belfast – Birkenhead route.  A third vessel, STENA PRECISION, currently carries freight traffic only on the route.
Photographer – © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

The planning application and associated documents can be viewed here.


Title image:  The pontoon and existing bridge to the shore at Birkenhead 12 quays.  Copyright © Scott Mackey.

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