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Gardian

The Channel - C4, Weds 29th Nov

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“New séries examining life on the English Channel, beginning with two weeks in the Summer when freight lorries share the ferries with 250,000 holidaymakers”.

I don’t suppose that the programme will tell many folk on here anything that they don’t know already, but worth a watch perhaps?

 

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Always like to watch the re-runs of Coast when they do around Poole Harbour, think it was filmed years ago when Barfleur was new, she definitely looks it. 

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As posted to https://www.facebook.com/groups/ferriesglobal/

 

 

From DFDS weekly newsletter:

Channel colleagues feature in major UK documentary


Colleagues from the Delft Seaways, our port operations and freight teams at Dover feature in a major UK documentary, The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway, to be broadcast on Channel 4 next Wednesday (29 November).


The programme follows the story of the world’s busiest waterway, the English Channel, and the people who keep the ships using the Dover Strait sailing smoothly every day, ensuring goods and passengers can flow freely in and out of the UK. It will show how our crew and our port teams prepare for the peak summer season and the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep freight traffic moving throughout the year. The series follows months of work with the television production company, whose staff lived on board Delft Seaways with our crew for a month during the summer and spent time getting to know employees in every area of BU Channel.


Our team will feature in two of the four episodes in the series, which will be broadcast in a prime-time slot at 9pm on Channel 4 for the next four weeks. The episodes will also be available on catch-up at the Channel 4 website.

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I watched this last night, found it mildly interesting. I thought it was a bit of a shame that the programme is called 'The Channel' but did not feature any other ferry operations other than those from Dover, though I can understand why. The main feelings I was left with were that I am very glad I do not need to use the port of Dover during the Summer holidays, and that 'Brexit' is fundamentally incompatible with maintaining the kind of trading relations upon which the UK is so heavily dependent at present; but I think many people probably knew that already ;) No doubt others would disagree of course.

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The main focus is Dover, but they did at least cover the channel pilot - I never realised they were used. Next week is the Chunnel.

Last night was interesting, but a little lacklustre as the sum total of the focus on DFDS seemed to be the fact they get busy in the summer season.

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1 hour ago, Jim said:

the sum total of the focus on DFDS seemed to be the fact they get busy in the summer season

Jim, it was for a Channel 4 audience. You can't expect too much! :DEd

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Agree with everything said.  Still, it was better than most of the other 'dross' that's usually on!

Most interesting thing for me was that the Solent Pilot stayed onboard the container ship all the way up the Channel to Hamburg.

 

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1 hour ago, Solo said:

Wasn't that the Channel Pilot who boarded off Torbay that stayed on?

That would be more normal.

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Watched last nights's episode which was all about the Channel Tunnel. Found it very interesting especially the fact that leaks are causing calcification of the equipment. The amount of maintenance needed is enormous.

However what struck me most is the way the whole thing is dependent on smooth running from not needing customs checks for EU goods passing backwards and forwards. As this appears to form the bulk of the traffic the whole shebang will grind to a halt after Brexit unless some means of avoiding customs checks can be devised and there seems to be nothing on the horizon to suggest that will happen, certainly not in the current Brexit timetable.

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Come on, the current mode of operation is a relatively recent phenomenon.  The Channel Tunnel opened for business in 1994 (pre-Schengen, pre-Maastricht and pre-Lisbon) and used to operate perfectly well in an era when full border and customs controls were the norm.  As did the port of Dover, with many more shipping movements in and out of it then than there are today.

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Well, they said on the programme that the overall volume of traffic had doubled compared with original levels and that whereas most of it was originally holidaymakers and private cars it is now overwhelmingly freight. Even more freight trains are being built at the moment. They did go into some detail and it sounded pretty convincing to me. You have presumably not seen the programme but are merely expressing your own opinion. Why not watch it yourself first?

There may be less shipping movements out of Dover than previously but the ships are a heck of a lot bigger, sail more frequently and from my experience in travelling this route over the years I definitely have the impression that there is a LOT more overall traffic, not just at the port but the streams of lorries on the motorway heading to and from the Tunnel and the Port.

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Well there was no opinion expressed in my post, merely an observation about historical fact.  But what you say is fair enough, and I agree that traffic per ship is several times bigger than it used to be.

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16 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Well, they said on the programme that the overall volume of traffic had doubled compared with original levels and that whereas most of it was originally holidaymakers and private cars it is now overwhelmingly freight. Even more freight trains are being built at the moment. They did go into some detail and it sounded pretty convincing to me. You have presumably not seen the programme but are merely expressing your own opinion. Why not watch it yourself first?

There may be less shipping movements out of Dover than previously but the ships are a heck of a lot bigger, sail more frequently and from my experience in travelling this route over the years I definitely have the impression that there is a LOT more overall traffic, not just at the port but the streams of lorries on the motorway heading to and from the Tunnel and the Port.

I haven't watched last night's episode yet but going on what I saw last week, for me it simply underlined just how heavily dependent the UK is on trade with mainland Europe, we can argue about how desirable or otherwise that might be, but that is undeniably the position from which we are attempting to leave the rules which have governed this trade over the past two decades.

From my own perspective, I know all too well what disruption delays at the Tunnel, even small ones, can do to a supply chain.

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There has been much said about the impact of potential extra checks, with Honda stating that an average delay of 15 minutes will have a significant impact on costs to the tune of around 90m GBP/year. It's not just volume of traffic which has changed, but also the way business is done (as was observed in the documentary around 'just in time' and the fact we now effectively use Europe as storage space because it's cheaper). 

... nobody wants Waitrose to have another courgette crisis! ;)

Edited by Jim
Changed wording for clarity.
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