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Ports in the UK Welcome New £705m Brexit-Border Funding

14th July 2020
British Ports Association called the promised resources to cover infrastructure, systems and staffing ‘helpful measures designed to ease the new borders requirements which come into force next year’. ABOVE AFLOAT's photo of a Larne-Cairnryan serving ferry, European Causeway of P&O Ferries which also has just two of an original five-strong fleet operating Dover-Calais albeit in a freight-only mode due to the fallout of Covid-19. The UK government has however provided a further funding of £37m (in April it was £17m) to the ferry firm and others to ensure a secure and stable supply of goods to and from the UK and the EU. Afloat also adds the financial support package includes funding from the N.Ireland Executive on some Irish Sea routes: Cairnryan-Belfast/Larne and Heysham-Warrenpoint. British Ports Association called the promised resources to cover infrastructure, systems and staffing ‘helpful measures designed to ease the new borders requirements which come into force next year’. ABOVE AFLOAT's photo of a Larne-Cairnryan serving ferry, European Causeway of P&O Ferries which also has just two of an original five-strong fleet operating Dover-Calais albeit in a freight-only mode due to the fallout of Covid-19. The UK government has however provided a further funding of £37m (in April it was £17m) to the ferry firm and others to ensure a secure and stable supply of goods to and from the UK and the EU. Afloat also adds the financial support package includes funding from the N.Ireland Executive on some Irish Sea routes: Cairnryan-Belfast/Larne and Heysham-Warrenpoint. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

BrexitPorts: The British Ports Association welcomed a new UK government promise to provide more than £700m (US$880m) in funding to cover infrastructure, systems, staffing to cope with the new border requirements relating to the Britain's departure from the EU customs union and single markets at the end of this year.

As LloydsLoadingList reports, the BPA highlighted that the £705m included funding to build border facilities at (ferry)ports where infrastructure can be built on site, as well as for government to build inland infrastructure sites, where ports do not have the space.

The association, which represents a wide variety of UK port operators including all the major ferry terminals that facilitate tens of thousands of HGVs between Britain and the EU every day, stressed that it “has been asking for funding commitments for some time and previously wrote to the Prime Minister outlining its concerns”.

Commenting on the new funding promises announced yesterday, BPA chief executive Richard Ballantyne said: “These are helpful measures designed to ease the new borders requirements which come into force next year. We are particularly grateful that the government has listened and agreed to our requests to pay for new infrastructure both at ports and at inland sites.

More here from the shipping sector newspaper click.  

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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