Dover: P&O Ferries expects full UK schedule to return soon
The final ferry in P&O Ferries fleet is expected back soon as the firm nears full operations, as it nears 100 days since it sacked 800 members of staff.
At Dover, the operator’s fleet has undergone a series of checks by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) with a slow return to crossings as various vessels came back into operation.
Firstly, the Spirit of Britain returned on 22 April, then the Pride of Kent on 9 May, and finally on 27 May, the Pride of Canterbury. One final vessel, the Pride of France, is expected back soon.
On other routes, the operator is already undertaking a full service, including Hull to Rotterdam, Larne to Cairnryan, and Liverpool to Dublin.
The Dover Traffic Access Protocol (TAP) has often been put in place due to limited crossings in the past few months.
Before the mass sacking, operator DFDS and P&O Ferries had an agreement to share the burden of freight passengers.
But this situation was challenged by the suspension of P&O services, resulting in a build-up of freight traffic alongside a variety of other factors.
The news comes as the RHA is calling for decisive action to create a permanent contingency site for handling lorries for use when there is disruption crossing the channel.
The site should be used and managed by the police and highway authorities to control and direct the flow of lorries travelling across the Dover Straits.
We ask that the Department for Transport, BEIS, Number 10, Kent County Council, the police and National Highways urgently work with industry on a specification for a “Channel Contingency Site” and to identify viable locations and options.
Most important corridor
The M20 – Dover Straits route is Great Britain’s most important corridor for international road freight. It accounts for around 3.6 million lorry movements per year, 55% of the market.
It is the main corridor for fresh food to move between the UK and continental Europe and is the most important route for time sensitive manufacturing components.
It is time to take decisive action and deal with this long-term problem.
Look at our briefing document here