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P&O to Bring BBC's The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge for Children In Need

7th November 2013
P&O to Bring BBC's The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge for Children In Need

#BBCgoesP&O - The BBC One Show's Alex Jones will be passing through the Port of Larne's P&O Ferry terminal tomorrow evening (8 November) as part of the show's Rickshaw Challenge for BBC Children In Need.

This eight-day relay challenge will see Alex Jones, plus five young people and their parents who¹ve been supported by the charity, ride in a rickshaw approximately 700 miles across all four nations, in a bid to raise as much money as possible to help disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

Rickshaw veteran Matt Baker will also support the ride, acting as a mentor and cycling alongside the riders on various legs of the journey. The Rickshaw Challenge will kick off tomorrow from the Giant¹s Causeway with the team expected to complete the Northern Irish leg of their challenge at approximately 6pm in the Port of Larne that evening.

Team Rickshaw will be travelling with P&O Ferries across the Irish Sea before they embark upon their journey through Scotland, west of England and into Wales, finishing at BBC's Elstree Studios live on the BBC Children in Need Appeal Night on Friday 15 November.

Master of P&O Ferries European Highlander Patrick Blackwell-Smyth said, We are proud to be supporting the BBC Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge and are getting ready for welcoming Team Rickshaw to the Port of Larne.

It's taken a lot of planning and preparation ­ mostly because the team will continue their challenge on-board our ship European Highlander ­ but we're looking forward to welcoming the team as they continue pedalling whilst crossing the Irish Sea to Cairnryan. We hope people will come down to the P&O Terminal tomorrow evening at approximately 5pm to help cheer Team Rickshaw on the next part of the journey.

Mayor of Larne, Councillor Maureen Morrow, in welcoming The One Show's, Rickshaw Challenge to Larne said, This will be a chance for Larne to be part of the national institution that is BBC Children in Need and an opportunity for local people to be involved in cheering those taking part on Coastguard Road. Please come along and show your support.

For further details of the Rickshaw Challenge and to track their progress throughout the journey, visit as well as on Twitter via #TeamRickshaw.


Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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