MANCHESTER WATER TAXIS AWARDED CANAL LICENCE
Manchester Water Taxis has been awarded a licence to operate two boats on the Bridgewater Canal, with the first passengers expected onboard later this year.
The company has signed a contract with the Bridgewater Canal Company, which is owned by the Peel Land and Property Group.
Under the terms of the licence, Manchester Water Taxis will run a service to the intu Trafford Centre via Old Trafford and Hotel Football as well as a service to Sale. Both routes will terminate at the Dukes 92 bar in Castlefield.
Manchester Water Taxis was founded in February 2009 by entrepreneur Steven Cadwell who initially planned to launch on the Manchester Ship Canal, providing public transport services between the city centre and MediaCity.
Despite securing funding, these plans were put on hold once HS2 was given the greenlight and work started on the Ordsall Chord. Rather than mothball the project, Cadwell decided to pursue alternatives.
Cadwell said: “The signing of this licence is a monumental milestone in the history of Manchester Water Taxis. The next few months are going to going to be really exciting as we prepare for launch. I can’t wait to welcome the first passengers onboard.”
Cadwell hopes to quickly build a fleet of ‘waxis’, the trademarked name for his boats, as an alternative form of public transport for the region.
The announcement comes as Manchester Water Taxis prepares to enter Entrepreneurial Spark’s Accelerator programme next month. Entrepreneurial Spark has developed a proprietary ‘entrepreneurial enablement’ programme that will take Manchester Water Taxis through a development process lasting six months with continued support for up to 18 months.
As part of the Entrepreneurial Spark programme, Manchester Water Taxis will have access to more than 50 business mentors.
Peter Parkinson, Bridgewater Canal general manager, said: “We are delighted to have agreed terms to bring this alternative form of public transport onto the Bridgewater Canal, which together with the Bridgewater Way towpath improvements will help to reduce traffic congestion and increase sustainable travel within Manchester.”
Pictured: Steven Cadwell (left) and Peter Parkinson.