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Brexit effect on BF

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Hi all. Am new to this site. I saw the topic and thought I would add our experience. We had booked a Poole Cherbourg crossing for the 24th August. On ringing today to pay some of the balance, imagine our surprise to be told our crossing had been cancelled. We were given the reason as Brexit, but they didn’t elaborate further. I asked why we hadn’t been informed, only to be told they would of contacted us nearer the time. It is more than a little frustrating as due to it being a peak travel weekend there were very limited alternative options. We have now had to book a hotel overnight the night before in order to take the alternative crossing offered,otherwise we would of needed to leave home at 4am, which with an 8 hour drive in France would of been too much.  My confusion is that having checked their website tonight, I can still book onto the very crossing we were taking, but have been told today has been cancelled! Not sure if anyone else has had this. Thanks. 

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The previous post to yours was one of mine for a very similar situation.  I am due to travel next Friday night from Poole and as yet have had no contact from BF to say it has been cancelled.  I will contact BF myself and check my own crossing.

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On 03/06/2019 at 20:20, Tolroy20 said:

Hi all. Am new to this site. I saw the topic and thought I would add our experience. We had booked a Poole Cherbourg crossing for the 24th August. On ringing today to pay some of the balance, imagine our surprise to be told our crossing had been cancelled. We were given the reason as Brexit, but they didn’t elaborate further. I asked why we hadn’t been informed, only to be told they would of contacted us nearer the time. It is more than a little frustrating as due to it being a peak travel weekend there were very limited alternative options. We have now had to book a hotel overnight the night before in order to take the alternative crossing offered,otherwise we would of needed to leave home at 4am, which with an 8 hour drive in France would of been too much.  My confusion is that having checked their website tonight, I can still book onto the very crossing we were taking, but have been told today has been cancelled! Not sure if anyone else has had this. Thanks. 

Tolroy - in my experience they may well sometimes stagger news like this, and as you are travelling in several months, you may  have been on the list to be told but not heard yet. I think with Brexit changes  to sailng times, and the other technical disruption this year, BF have been very busy changing people around (certainly seemed that way when on the phone to me), so they have done it in stages. My Pont Aven trip was cancelled, but I heard in advance. Not sure why Khaines in the next post wouldn't have heard at this late stage though!

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26 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

Tolroy - in my experience they may well sometimes stagger news like this, and as you are travelling in several months, you may  have been on the list to be told but not heard yet. I think with Brexit changes  to sailng times, and the other technical disruption this year, BF have been very busy changing people around (certainly seemed that way when on the phone to me), so they have done it in stages. My Pont Aven trip was cancelled, but I heard in advance. Not sure why Khaines in the next post wouldn't have heard at this late stage though!

Mine is going ahead, just had it confirmed on the phone.  Quite worried as my last crossing ended up in a cancellation on BF’s side due to industrial action at short notice in Cherbourg.  In that case they were really caught on the hop and didn’t get a chance to notify people in time.  Remember turning up at Poole and no Barfleur sitting in her berth, and wondering what the heck was going on went round to the terminal to find out she was still in Cherbourg!  So a day’s shopping in Poole that turned into.  Then my Armorique booking was cancelled due to bad weather - so I was praying to dear God that this one would go ahead.  Luckily all is fine and a very pleasant lady assured me all was ok.  Off to Point du Hoc, then.  So much organising gone into this, a third cancellation would have been very disappointing.

  

Edited by Khaines

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3 minutes ago, Khaines said:

Mine is going ahead, just had it confirmed on the phone.  Quite worried as my last crossing ended up in a cancellation on BF’s side due to industrial action at short notice in Cherbourg.  In that case they were really caught on the hop and didn’t get a chance to notify people in time.  Remember turning up at Poole and no Barfleur sitting in her berth, and wondering what the heck was going on went round to the terminal to find out she was still in Cherbourg!  So a day’s shopping in Poole that turned into.  Then my Armorique booking was cancelled due to bad weather - so I was praying to dear God that this one would go ahead.  Luckily all is fine and a very pleasant lady assured me all was ok.  Off to Point du Hoc, then.  So much organising gone into this, a third cancellation would have been very disappointing.

  

Excellent. Will you be visiting Chris for some Fine Whines?

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1 hour ago, hf_uk said:

Excellent. Will you be visiting Chris for some Fine Whines?

Don’t drink, HF!!😄.  Will be touring pharmacies tracking down pills that are hard to get in UK as doc has agreed to let me try and get them in France.  

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Thanks for the reply hf_uk and Khaines. Khaines, good your sailing seems like it’s going ahead, enjoy. Hf_uk, I think you raise some interesting points. Until now, we’ve had the odd delay, industrial action on the french side more than once, but never a cancellation. I’ll keep my eye on the new timetable. Still surprised they are still showing our original crossing on line as I would of thought this is only going to cause more work for them. Maybe they don’t want to remove it in case people start to realise there’s an issue. 

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No idea why they are keeping the sailings advertised, seems strange they would.  I would have thought a statement on the website at the very least could be appropriate so those who could be affected know in good time to make alternative arrangements.  In my case it would be just a case of contacting my lift in Cherbourg to say I am not coming over.  He has to give up a day of his own to drive me around, and he could rearrange his time as well if I am not coming over.   Apart from that in my case it would be a third time in a row cancellation...

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Out of interest, is it possible that the Government would bung another load of money to ferry companies at the end of October if we have no deal?  The crossing I have just had was an overnight from Poole, part of the extra sailings they put on from earlier in the year.  As far as I know the sailings go back to normal soon - but we are back to where we were back earlier in the year when we were given the extra sailings and nothing has changed during the period this money was meant for, so really we are back to square one come the end of October.  Wondering if BF would be doing extra sailings in the winter months in case of a no deal.BE914499-027C-4C3F-AD90-37FD55FF6E77.thumb.jpeg.b507d7c5dd9c3c6d62cc122de0f894e2.jpeg

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I wonder what net financial effect there has been on BF from the UK Government "Brexit bonus"? After all the re-scheduling and mid-term changes to timetables, does this not lose custom? Personally I book a number of weekend trips to France in a year, but find the changes don't make it deterministic and I therefore don't bother. If I'd booked and changes required extra money/ alterations to sailings I would not be pleased. This might impact on my view of BF. Personally, I have always been impressed on how the company specifies what they are going to do and reliably deliver it. Is it worth getting inolved with HM Government who don't seem to be in the real world?

PS For the next round of Brexit changes charge a Mega amount for each additional ship transit.

 

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Just had this pop up on my Facebook newsfeed.  Apparently Grayling is looking to award new no-deal ferry contracts.

https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/chris-grayling-is-looking-to-sign-new-no-deal-brexit-ferry-contracts-1-6128156?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons

Edited by Khaines

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"Not signing the contracts until just before they are needed" sounds like a logistical nightmare for the ferry companies.  I wonder if BF will go for that arrangement, or whether they will give it a wide berth.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

"Not signing the contracts until just before they are needed" sounds like a logistical nightmare for the ferry companies.  I wonder if BF will go for that arrangement, or whether they will give it a wide berth.

I had a chat in Poole about this a few weeks ago if there was any likelihood of another no deal award coming their way at BF, and the impression I got was that it is all a pain in the backside.  Might have interpreted it wrong, but the guy I spoke to gave a despairing sigh which I took to mean possibly not!  I would guess they feel messed around, again I might be wrong, I just thought I’d ask and that is how I guessed the answer probably is.  No idea really.  

I suppose Grayling is assuming there WILL be no deal because of what both Boris and Hunt are saying.  But if from what it appears that Parliament blocks it, and we end up with a General Election, then Grayling cannot really go throwing money around.  Would whichever leader allow it?

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To be honest, I'm not sure these special arrangements are really necessary.  Not economically, anyway - I suppose they may be important politically, but more for the message they send out than what they may practically achieve.

In reality, market economics will do its work.  If the terms of our exit from the EU create extra demand for ferry services on the Western Channel, then an operator will supply that demand.  If BF doesn't then someone else will.  And we all know BFs penchant for stepping into areas of demand to block other operators from doing so.  So if these sailings do become necessary, then it is a fair bet that BF will cater for them irrespective of the existence of any government contract.  Their current business model will make sure that they do not leave room for another operator to pick up the supply for any genuine increase in demand.

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Nobody knows anything except we're in the game of change the names it'll still be the same. If you offer a job only a moron would want you must expect....

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The contracts were to ensure continuity of supply of critical things, drugs etc which would be priority loads. The problem in a no deal scenario isn't capacity as such (there will probably be a notable fall in demand) it's challenges of port throughput with the customs inspections etc which are required by default to both protect the integrity of the single market for the EU and to respect the rules of the WTO.

Switching on a supply of ferry crossings isn't like a tap, you need tonnage and crews and administrative capacity. At least sourcing ships at short notice would be easier in October than March but which available ships fit which ports. And of the available ships which ones will be detained the moment they land a mooring rope in a UK port.

Edited by hhvferry

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Yes indeed. But neither is a ferry company going to be able to just switch on enhanced provision at next to no notice, which these new contracts seem to imply.  So the short term will not be helped by contracts that will not be signed until the last minute.  And the long term will be taken care of by market economics.  Which takes me back to there being no real point to the latest proposals, beyond political show.

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In this latest developement, Brittany Ferries released the following statement:

“Brittany Ferries will carefully consider this latest development in no-deal Brexit planning. We do have flexibility across our fleet operations, through western channel ports of Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth. And of course we were one of the companies awarded a contract last December. But we need to consider carefully what schedule changes will mean for planned freight and passenger operations this autumn and, as a consequence, what additional freight capacity we may be able to guarantee.”

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To be honest I've always got a bit of spare space in my car when I come over on the ferry and certainly enough to slot in a few boxes of whatever is running short. Why don't the government just give those of us willing to participate individual contracts. Set up a scheme which lets participants know what needs transporting and where the pick up points are (motorway toll stations would be logical) and we login and it's first come, first served. It doesn't matter if we are travelling with DFDS, BF, P&O, Condor or Eurotunnel because the products get back to the UK and are either handed in at customs for onward transit or if we know where they are needed they can even be delivered more locally. That would actually speed up the process. We could be paid accordingly or get points which could be converted into travel vouchers to incentivise the system. It would not work well with temperature-sensitive drugs but for the rest it's win-win. (Paully will have to sacrifice a crate of Merlot if he wants to help out but it's for the greater good! 🤣) Ed. 

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6 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

It would not work well with temperature-sensitive drugs but for the rest it's win-win. (Paully will have to sacrifice a crate of Merlot if he wants to help out but it's for the greater good! 🤣) Ed. 

I dunno fresh scallops seem to travel well in a cool box with plenty of cool blocks around them, not sure I would try it on a day like today though,  but then again it’s not the Scallop  season.

In the early days of BF it was customary to see fridge lorries leaking water on leaving the ship or on the road out of St Male towards Rennes. when fridges had failed on the crossings for whatever reason. And AFAIK no body died because of it.

Could be a nice little earner, much more lucrative than club voyage 2019. A version Blah Blah car for Ferries.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

(Paully will have to sacrifice a crate of Merlot if he wants to help out but it's for the greater good! 🤣) Ed. 

Already doing my bit..This Merlot is needed on an urgent and ongoing basis in the UK.. I'm ensuring that the maximum capacity available will be filled to ensure the public good is met..No need to thank me I regard it as a public duty🤣😂😁

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2 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

A 200ml dose per day for the next 340-odd days sounds about right. Plus a little over for emergencies. 😉 Ed. 

A little over???...No I think the contingency margin needs to be wider 😄

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Well the obvious solution for all of these intravenous drugs that might be in short supply (like Merlot) is a pipeline. Apparently they are currently installing an undersea cable from near Ouistreham to the UK so if you get in quick there should be no problem running a pipe alongside it. Better still, make it a double direction pipe and you could supply the French with freshly brewed Yorkshire tea on tap which would help the balance of trade. Ed. 

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