Port of Dover Hots Up For Holiday Traffic

As the last schools break up for the holiday, and temperatures look set to soar, the Port of Dover is gearing up for its biggest tourist weekends of the year.

Saturdays in the six-week school holiday period see peak volumes of passengers and tourist cars, with passenger numbers doubling from the typical Wednesday holiday volume, and three-times the number of cars.

“On Saturday 27 July, we expect more than 18,000 cars through the port, rising to between 19,500 and 20,000 cars on our anticipated peak day, Saturday 23 August,” says Bob Goldfield, chief executive, Port of Dover. “We’re also expecting 80,000 passengers this Saturday, rising to around 86,000 on our busiest day.”

The port’s operation team plays its part in smoothing the way for tourists well beyond the port and the ferry.

“We monitor closely all traffic flows hitting the M25 from the north and west, over the Dartford Crossing and on all routes to the port, and alert travellers to any delays. Currently, there are no roadworks that should affect driving times to the port.”

And in spite of high tourist volumes, holiday-makers will find plenty of room on board, according to Bob Goldfield.

“The good news for tourists is that haulage volumes peak on Wednesdays and fall away during the weekend – the perfect solution all round.

“Equally, car drivers are welcome at any hour of the day or night, any day of the week, and we will be sure to get them away, no matter how busy the port is.”

For crossings, travel, traffic and weather details, visit www.doverport.co.uk

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Eurostar Back on Track

Eurostar has announced that from Monday 23 February 2009, its services will be faster and more frequent. The operation of repairs, known as ‘Interval-6″, will be completed by 10 February allowing Eurostar to plan and implement the switch-over to full service.

Between 10 and 22 February, Eurostar will continue to operate its existing departure times with some trains likely to arrive earlier than currently timetabled.

From 23 February, Eurostar will resume normal service with all services operating at full speed, and fastest non-stop journey times of London-Paris 2 h 15 minutes, London to Brussels 1 hour 51 minutes and London Lille 1 hour 20 minutes.

There will be more trains, with up to 19 services per day on the London-Paris route and up to 10 on the London-Brussels route. With the return to full tunnel capacity, the optimum pattern of departure times will be restored, removing gaps in the current timetable which have been caused by the reduced tunnel capacity.

In addition, a new direct Ashford-Brussels service will begin on 23 February, having been delayed since last December by the tunnel incident.

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Speedferries Dover to Boulogne Service Cancelled

SpeedFerries In Administration

Dover-Boulogne ferry service cancelled

The only Dover-Boulogne service is no longer available as SpeedFerries has gone into administration. Troubles started last Thursday when the Boulogne Port Authority seized its only vessel, SpeedOne, in a dispute over unpaid taxes and fees. Dispite efforts to resolve the situation, the company has been placed in administration at the request of the firm’s directors. Crossings have been cancelled since last Thursday and customers were warned to expect further cancellations until November 16.

A statement from the administrators on the company’s website called on customers to wait for further information on future crossings and to keep any pre-booked tickets.

In the meantime, travellers should hop on a ferry from Dover to Calais or us Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Coquelles, then take the A26 motorway for a 20 minute dash to Boulogne.

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Service Through The Channel Tunnel After The Fire

Freight services resumed through the Channel Tunnel and Eurostar passenger services made a slow comeback Saturday, two days after a blaze shut down the busy link between Britain and mainland Europe. However, the car shuttle service between Folkestone and Calais would remain suspended over the weekend, operators Eurotunnel said.

Eurotunnel passenger service for Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 September remains suspended and passengers should make alternative arrangements. To request a refund, send an email to sales.support@eurotunnel.com stating your name, address and booking reference number.

Passengers returning home will find their transport being honoured by other cross-channel operators. See Getting There for alternative operators.

There will be service on Wednesday and Thursday but expect delays.

Services will continue to be severely disrupted on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 September with limited departures of just 1 train every 2 hours.

Eurostar, is offering to refund the estimated 15,000 passengers stranded on Thursday after the fire or to swap tickets for a later date.

The note on Eurostar’s website said:

“Eurostar has today resumed a limited service through the Channel Tunnel. Trains are operating through the single tunnel that is unaffected by the fire. Eurostar is operating a temporary, reduced timetable. It expects to run up to 12 trains each way between London and Paris, up to six trains each way between London and Brussels, and the daily service each way between London and Disneyland Resort Paris. Trains will also serve Ashford International, Ebbsfleet International and Lille.”

Useful contact details:

Customer information line: 08000 969 992

Customer Contact Centre: 08705 35 35 35

Sales Support: sales.support@eurotunnel.com

Customer relations: customer.relations@eurotunnel.com

Eurostar: 08705 186 186

13th September 2008

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Smoking ban in British waters

Ships travelling in British waters face a complete smoking ban in 2009 as P&O cuts back on lighting up. The Department for Transport is considering banning smoking inside vessels within 12 miles (19km) of the British coast. This means that smokers could light up for only 17 of the 29 miles between Dover and Calais.

William Gibbons, director of the Passenger Shipping Association, said that announcements would be made to let passengers know when smoking was permitted. “The rules will apply to all ships, whatever the flag,” he said.

P&O Cruises is the latest cruise line to ban smoking inside three of its ships – the Oceana, Ventura and Artemis. Passengers will be allowed to light up only in designated outside areas or on private balconies. A spokesman said: “We do not believe we will lose passengers. We hope that becoming smoke free will create a more pleasant environment.”

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PO Ferries latest deal

P & O Ferries, www.poferries.com, is offering trips from Dover to Calais for just £2 for foot passengers and from £15 for cars carrying up to nine people.

Foot passengers must travel between Monday to Thursday, departing after 8.25am and returning before 9pm on the same day. Similar restrictions apply to those travelling by car, so make sure you read the terms and conditions before booking.

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Kent police warns holidaymakers of £100 fine in France

School’s out for summer from today and thousands of families will be crossing the Channel for holidays in France.

But if motorists don’t have florescent jackets and warning triangles in the boot, they could face fines of more than £100.

That’s just one of the bits of advice found on Kent Police’s new bilingual “travelling abroad” section on its website.

Found at www.kent.police.uk/travel, it’s designed to help reduce accidents and make it easier to report crime.

It gives details of:

  • French road rules
  • unusual signs
  • speeding restrictions
  • what equipment to keep in your car
  • what to do at the scene of an accident
  • enforcement.

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SeaFrance Molière, the first ferry on the Calais/Dover crossing to exceed 200 metres in length

The SeaFrance Molière will begin operating on the Calais/Dover route on 1st July 2008. The ship is 203 metres long and 25 metres wide and has 1,900 metres of car decks holding up to 480 vehicles or 110 trucks. It will provide passengers with 2,500 sq. metres of new space:

– Deck 7 has the restaurant, Le Relais (238 covers), Le Pub (380 seats), the restaurant, Les Routiers (80 covers), the “Play zone” for children, the exchange bureau and the information desk.

– Deck 8 has the Brasserie grillroom (74 covers), the Latitudes bar (148 seats), the shop (330 sq. metres), the transport café (37 seats) and the truckies’ rest area (41 seats).

Seafrance say that thanks to the SeaFrance Molière, SeaFrance offers passengers a more modern, more uniform and more environmentally-friendly fleet.

www.seafrance.com

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Port of Dover Welcomes New Ferry Capacity

News that P&O Ferries plans to launch two new ships for its Dover-Calais service is evidence of the need to expand facilities at the Port of Dover, says Chief Executive Bob Goldfield.

The Port of Dover is moving forward with a £420 million expansion programme to build a second ferry terminal with four ferry berths at the Western Docks within the harbour. An environment impact assessment into the proposals is nearing completion and the port hopes to start building work in 2010 with the terminal opening in 2013 or 2014.

Dover is one of the world’s busiest international ferry ports, and 40,000 additional freight movements during 2007 pushed the port to a new record high of 2,363,583 journeys.

Bob Goldfield commented: “The growth in passenger travel and freight volumes is driving the port’s Eastern Docks ferry terminal to operate at almost its maximum capacity. With forecasts for this growth set to continue the second terminal is vital to facilitate trade and travel between the UK and mainland Europe.

“The new P&O super ferries are expected to begin operating in 2010 and 2011, and meanwhile, SeaFrance launches its new, 200-metre ferry next month. The port has the capacity to handle these vessels, but this clearly emphasises that business is moving forward and that there is a need to plan and build facilities for the next generation.

“Our ongoing investment projects in existing infrastructure include a £4 million road scheme to improve traffic flows exiting Eastern Docks thereby maximising landside capacity in the terminal. Construction is already under way and we expect to complete the work in March 2009.

“Growth in ferry freight is running at a rate of more than five per cent a year, and Dover continues to attract a steadily increasing share of this important part of the UK’s supply chain.”

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P&O 5-Day Sale – Just £25 each way – Any Duration

P&O are running an exceptionally good sale. To grab this visit www.poferries.com. Sale ends at midnight on 10th June 2008

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