New fuel facility for harbour users

A NEW fuel facility has been installed at the Fish Quay, although harbour users have expressed concerns over its suitability.

After it emerged that Whitby Harbour Board would not be able to install a new fuel provision in the harbour, GB Oils (W Eves) stepped in to provide and install a new fuel delivery system.

Prior to this harbour users wanting to refill their boats were required to dispense the fuel into jerry cans and carry the fuel to their boats, a system unsuitable for larger vessels and hazardous for amateur users.

The unit has been positioned at the northern end of the Fish Quay, above the existing facility, and was anticipated to provide a more user friendly system, accessible at any time through a chip and pin system.

W Eves’ Barry Stoker said: “The marine industry in the north east has been transitioning over the last few decades, moving from an industrial marine business towards a leisure industry with an increasing amount of passing tourist sea traffic.

“As a business we’ve adapted to this change and our focus has shifted to meet the needs of Whitby’s marine industry today.

“By working closely with Whitby’s harbour board, we have invested in a new service facility which will serve the fuelling needs of today’s marine industry.”

The new facility was launched on 2 May, but Jon Whitton, skipper and former chair of the Harbour Users’ Group, said that feedback has not been entirely positive.

He said: “A member has tried to use it and there’s a problem with health and safety.

“The key arrangement is at the top of the ladder, whereas the hose is halfway up it.

“It’s less convenient to use than the existing measure.

“He couldn’t see any advantage in it and decided it was relatively unsafe.

The facility had been designed to accommodate the needs of a wider variety of vessels using the harbour, but Coun Mike Cockerill, chair of Whitby Harbour Board, said: “We’ve had no direct input, this has been totally done by contractors, but we’re wasting time if it’s not an improvement.”

The new facility utilises state of the art technology, featuring a 24-hour a day fuelling service and a high-tech pumping system.

Fuel available at the installation is high specification A2 Gas Oil.