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The importance of keeping on top of maintenance work on waterfront structures like piers, which could include bringing in specialist structural strengthening companies, has been highlighted recently by an incident in Poole Harbour that saw the Sandbanks chain ferry damaged.

According to the Bournemouth Echo, a piece of concrete broke free from the fixed jetty in Poole Harbour where the Bramble Bush Bay vessel was moored, damaging its hull.

Due to the damage caused by the wayward piece of concrete, the ferry, which provides a link between Sandbanks and Studland in the Purbecks, will now be out of service for a full month.

Bosses at Sandbanks Ferry Company decided to withdraw it from service in April due to the significant reduction in traffic caused by the UK’s lockdown travel restrictions. They were taking the opportunity to carry out essential maintenance work on the ferry, which will mean it doesn’t need to take a month out of service in November.

Speaking to the newspaper, managing director of the firm Mike Kean commented: “The damage sustained by the jetty malfunction is incredibly frustrating when we were expecting to return to service as soon as traffic volumes were back at a sustainable level.”

At the start of March, the Sandbanks Ferry Company announced that it was applying to transport secretary Grant Shapps to increase the toll it charges by up to 5.56 per cent in 2020. This would mean that the price for a car to travel across the narrow stretch of water would increase from £4.50 per vehicle to £4.75.