Brisbane City Council has announced its decision to permanently withdraw Norman Park to New Farm Park Cross River Ferry service and close the Norman Park Ferry terminal.
In July, nine CityHopper and Cross River ferry services were pulled after the council said that it discovered safety issues in the timber vessels. The council then announced that it will activate five new “KittyCat” services beginning early November.
In a letter to the residents, Council said that they reviewed the network before the KittyCats service would commence, analysing the existing terminals’ compatibility with the new KittyCats, the patronage of each service, and the number of vessels needed to service each network.
Norman Park terminal is at the end-of-life
The review showed that the Norman Park terminal is at the end-of-life and that it is not compliant with modern disability standards. The terminal is also said to be not compatible with docking the new KittyCats in terms of height and upgrading the terminal would require a rebuild of the onshore and marine infrastructure.
Moreover, the council said that the review found that Norman Park to New Farm Park ferry service has the lowest patronage of any ferry services, carrying 133 passengers on 136 services per day (pre-COVID) or an average of less than one passenger per trip. That is a stark contrast to the 574 passengers carried by the Bulimba to Teneriffe ferry on 150 services per day.
Based on the findings, the council decided to cancel all Norman Park to New Farm Park ferry services to the dismay of Morningside councillor Kara Cook. She said that the council’s decision has outraged Norman Park residents and is an example of how their local needs are “blatantly ignored.”
The council urged Norman Park residents to use existing bus services and either the Mowbray Park or Hawthorne terminals to connect to New Farm.