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Brexit effect on BF

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3 minutes ago, G4rth said:

We'll some Scousers certainty had a reputation in this area in the 80's. Unfortunately not for their undoubted skills in tea making or bacon cooking. But their reputation does now seem to be in the past.

Yes, a well known local landlord used supposedly advertise in Liverpool.  It has got a lot better though.  Crikey, best not go too off topic...😉

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6 minutes ago, Khaines said:

Yes, a well known local landlord used supposedly advertise in Liverpool.  It has got a lot better though.  Crikey, best not go too off topic...😉

What do you mean off topic, nothing to do with Brexit or BF not far off topic yet.

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I'll continue to watch this thread with interest over the coming months, despite much speculation I think there's some useful information here regarding possible developments.

I wonder how many people have been put off booking next year, regardless of the deposit increase. I would certainly not be travelling next year, and would prefer not to travel to Europe until we see how things settle down. In reality, we have a special birthday celebration and will be driving down to Provence. However, if we start hearing stories about massive delays, cancellations, or other problems, we simply won't travel..............it is supposed to be fun after all.

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45 minutes ago, G4rth said:

We'll some Scousers certainty had a reputation in this area in the 80's. Unfortunately not for their undoubted skills in tea making or bacon cooking. But their reputation does now seem to be in the past.

Yeah Poole and Bournemouth were a particular summer destination of choice for some skilled in another type of dark art. I believe it nearly reached epidemic proportions at one stage. I spent a few months in Brighton back in '89, hot summer that one, working on a bit of concrete finishing on the marina and we were looked at with fair degree of suspicion until they knew we had jobs to do, many places knocked us back.

We ended up above a pub in Kemp Town... That was an eye opener for my dad, loads of fun for me. Moved to a static caravan behind the Queen Mary Inn, Poole after that to begin initial survey work for Madams linkspan. I think BDH were still there then? 

I was redundant 12 months later so I toddled off to uni. Dawsons folded not long after the linkspan was finished.

 

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35 minutes ago, jonno said:

Yeah Poole and Bournemouth were a particular summer destination of choice for some skilled in another type of dark art. I believe it nearly reached epidemic proportions at one stage. I spent a few months in Brighton back in '89, hot summer that one, working on a bit of concrete finishing on the marina and we were looked at with fair degree of suspicion until they knew we had jobs to do, many places knocked us back.

We ended up above a pub in Kemp Town... That was an eye opener for my dad, loads of fun for me. Moved to a static caravan behind the Queen Mary Inn, Poole after that to begin initial survey work for Madams linkspan. I think BDH were still there then? 

I was redundant 12 months later so I toddled off to uni. Dawsons folded not long after the linkspan was finished.

 

Boscombe was Scouserland, the Palmerston Arms was a mainly Scouser pub, trying to remember the others.  Spot the Southern accent.  There was another pub nearby, cannot remember the name, next to where Maccy D’s is, that was a “northern pub” back in the 80s.  

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Not just BF, but ferries more generally - I wonder if it might be that increased border checks may lead to a revival in ports that have fallen out of favour.  There's a report this morning that the UK government thinks that a deliberate "go slow" policy might be introduced in Calais, and we've already talked a lot about the ability of Dover to cope.  So might we see a reverse in the post-Chunnel focussing of traffic on just a few ports back to the pre-Chunnel situation where far more ports were in use on both sides of the Channel?

I think it is reasonably understood that Folkestone will never be a ferry port again.  But Ramsgate could return to favour.  And Boulogne?  And if it becomes problematic sending everything through France, might we see a return of the short-sea routes to Belgium?  Could Ostend and Zeebrugge come to the fore again?  And, if so, could a return of Sheerness go along with that? The Harwich Haven ports? I've lost track, to an extent, of where Dover is with its redevelopment of the Western Docks.  Is that still on track?  You'd think that any expansion of Dover would include the infrastructure needed to deal with the checks, so maybe Dover will still be able to be the main UK focus.  Plenty of scope for expanding Newhaven-Dieppe, too, if needed, and maybe the needs of the new situation might be the thing that finally kicks the Port of Newhaven authorities into getting the port renovated.

One thing is becoming clear:  Dover-Calais won't be able to handle the proportion of traffic that it does today, and some diversification of port and route networks will be needed.  I doubt if that diversification would extend as far as Southampton and Weymouth though?

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I am wondering about Cotentin.  Here we have a BF freight ship working for someone else - is there a liklihood of BF grabbing her back and taking advantage of the opportunities that may arise with regards to freight?  Not suggesting they use her in Poole, but could BF open up new freight routes on the Eastern Channel or further up East.  If any time was a good time to recall Cotentin, then surely this could be it.

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43 minutes ago, Gareth said:

I doubt if that diversification would extend as far as Southampton and Weymouth though?

Why not? And Plymouth too. There are a lot of starting points on the western side of Britain which use the M5 to reach Plymouth or a bit more traffic Portsmouth. For reasons of their own there seem to be a lot of people hung up on the delights of driving in heavy traffic just so they can enjoy the M25. Likewise driving across western France to reach Spain, Portugal, Italy etc isn't such a hassle as getting through Northern France.

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Does make you wonder if Rosyth would be a good option with the new bridge and improvements to the motorway infrastructure in the central belt it’s certainly far enough away to ease the pressure on the roads to Kent.

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10 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Not just BF, but ferries more generally - I wonder if it might be that increased border checks may lead to a revival in ports that have fallen out of favour.  There's a report this morning that the UK government thinks that a deliberate "go slow" policy might be introduced in Calais, and we've already talked a lot about the ability of Dover to cope.  So might we see a reverse in the post-Chunnel focussing of traffic on just a few ports back to the pre-Chunnel situation where far more ports were in use on both sides of the Channel?

I think it is reasonably understood that Folkestone will never be a ferry port again.  But Ramsgate could return to favour.  And Boulogne?  And if it becomes problematic sending everything through France, might we see a return of the short-sea routes to Belgium?  Could Ostend and Zeebrugge come to the fore again?  And, if so, could a return of Sheerness go along with that? The Harwich Haven ports? I've lost track, to an extent, of where Dover is with its redevelopment of the Western Docks.  Is that still on track?  You'd think that any expansion of Dover would include the infrastructure needed to deal with the checks, so maybe Dover will still be able to be the main UK focus.  Plenty of scope for expanding Newhaven-Dieppe, too, if needed, and maybe the needs of the new situation might be the thing that finally kicks the Port of Newhaven authorities into getting the port renovated.

One thing is becoming clear:  Dover-Calais won't be able to handle the proportion of traffic that it does today, and some diversification of port and route networks will be needed.  I doubt if that diversification would extend as far as Southampton and Weymouth though?

I know P&O want larger tonnage when they replace their Zeebrugge ships within the next 5 years or so, there's a current study to see whether a second river berth is realistic, they're also contemplating a RoPax terminal at Tilbury.

Does Newhaven have the space since the wind turbine construction began, then again DFDS are shifting a lot of freight so maybe they've cultivated a more "just in time" method of loading so acres of hardstanding for trailers isn't required?

Bologne is an interesting one especially as the linkspan opposite the fish market doesn't necessarily need to be the one considered, there's a lot of flattened prime land around the commercial port crying out for modern facilities plus decent infrastructure and it's just as easy to swing to port once out of Newhaven as it is go full ahead to Dieppe.

We've discussed the ongoing modernisation of Ramsgate before, there's good facilities there and you could argue that the port could serve Holland as well as Belgium and France.

Maritime history has left a legacy, the engineered deepwater channels are still there albeit in need of some attention and decaying facilities can easily be replaced in the first instance by cheap modular pre fabbed constructions.

Maybe it's a romantic notion but having walked around these places since they've ceased to be channel ferry ports I get more of a feeling of hibernation rather than ultimate death. They are all still there waiting and willing.

There are times when Dover frustrates... is it me or do they seem to bask in a strange macabre sense of satisfaction that their popularity and poor infrastructure is as much a contributor to the gridlock as some of the French port strikes. They've replaced their port manager in recent months as they've felt a more dynamic outlook was required. Let's not forget too that Portsmouth is now quicker to reach from London. A fact which BF should be trailblazing on the front cover of every freight  periodical they advertise in.

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Don't forget, there is already a brand new terminal in the outer harbour at Boulogne that has hardly been used.  With Newhaven, I understood that there has been a long-standing development plan to build a new harbour, which could take larger ferries, to the south of the existing one by reclaiming land from the sea to the eastern side of the approach channel.  This is probably the plan that would need to be pursued if Newhaven was to become a serious UK port terminus in a port-diversification era.

As far as the passage from Newhaven-Boulogne is concerned, I have long thought that LD missed a trick here in that it is virtually the only route involving their Channel ports that they didn't try.  As you say, passage time will be similar to Dieppe - maybe an hour longer - and for central-Europe bound traffic from anywhere outside the SE quadrant, the benefits of being able to bypass the M25 and still land in Picardy, for onward travel, must be attractive.  However, the passage is very much not "leave Newhaven and turn to port".  Doing that would take you right across both the shipping lanes (at an illegal angle) and several mid-channel banks that start east of the Meridian.  The banks actually separate the two shipping lanes as you move towards the Dover Straits, and cannot be crossed.  The passage would probably have to follow more or less the Dieppe route for about half to two-thirds of the way, and then pick up the east-bound shipping lane for a bit before peeling off into Boulogne.  The return passage would need to cross initially towards Folkestone, and then pick up the west-bound lane in the vicinity of the Varne lightship.  So it's a complicated route (which may be one reason LD never tried it.  Or thought of it). 

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8 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

Does make you wonder if Rosyth would be a good option with the new bridge and improvements to the motorway infrastructure in the central belt it’s certainly far enough away to ease the pressure on the roads to Kent.

It would certainly offer another strong road link for Stena's Belfast ships, with the improvements to the M74 junction with the M8 there will be scope to handle a lot more traffic. Rosyth is a prime location for a freight only link to Denmark for Irish goods and I know many, many motorhomers who'd jump at the chance of having such a route. They'd fill a deck all by themselves.

You could also argue that it could be an ideal toehold for Northlink or possibly Smryil. 

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40 minutes ago, Khaines said:

I am wondering about Cotentin.  Here we have a BF freight ship working for someone else - is there a liklihood of BF grabbing her back and taking advantage of the opportunities that may arise with regards to freight?  Not suggesting they use her in Poole, but could BF open up new freight routes on the Eastern Channel or further up East.  If any time was a good time to recall Cotentin, then surely this could be it.

If it came to it and the need arose there's no reason why BF couldn't cultivate a freight only sailing to Caen from Poole using such a channel port friendly vessel like Cotentin. As Gareth suggests, we're talking diversification here not just expansion of existing routes. It's why at times I've considered a more even spread of the Spanish ships.

Let it be more about the frustration of which way to go rather than if you can go at all?

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Reading today's Ferry Shipping News the Port of Calais has teamed up with DFDS, P&O, Eurotunnel and SEPD to form  the "Yes to Duty Free" group. The full article is in Le Monde although I'm unable to copy the full link for some unknown reason.

If the initiative proves successful something similar on the western channel routes would surely be a positive for BF?

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Well, it was always likely to have been more of a scare tactic than a real intention.  But I think the point about the need for port diversification will still be a valid one.  Even with a will, it is quite possible that Calais will struggle to cope with all the traffic (and that other ports will need to come back on stream).  We'll see.  Brexit certainly has the potential to be just as much of a game-changer in the ferry industry as the Channel Tunnel was.

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Have to agree with,Paully.We found France,expensive,and we shop Lidl,when we can.Prices are up across the board.I did see that Poole,our port of preference,now mainly used by LK Walther,transport,with the Irish outfit,Nolan,last years main user,only a fue trailors parked up.Dear old Barfleur,still superb,great crews,best ship in the fleet.Re Brexit,cash talks louder than Poolitics.

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On 22/10/2018 at 18:44, Paully said:

Coming back to the decline of BF bookings and expense its interesting to trawl round various travel websites and in particular caravan etc forums..France, is I firmly believe, out of fashion at present, by the majority of Brit travellers. I`ve even seen those resident in Germany openly refer to it as some sort of hell hole you have to pass through to reach somewhere better...Their words not mine. France is considered to be massively expensive by families, even the caravanners admit prices have rocketed this year compared to last....and they take most things with them!!..We have just returned from the Canary Islands (where everything is imported) and its much cheaper living than even the UK. Sure some accomodation in France , depending on what you want, might be cheaper but the rest is not.

  BF`s biggest threat is Michael O Leary and Ryanair.. He is for 2019 opening a new large base at Nantes in addition to the other 30 already existing..He may joke that the only good thing ferries are useful for is carrying bullocks, but he has targetted the ferries for years now. 

   BF in particular are the ire of many on t`internet and referred to as `Pirates` as a result of the eye watering prices, at times, that they charge. The France market, which BF is mainly aimed at, is declining. Holiday package tours are now back in vogue, big time, as 2 weeks in Turkey can be had for less money than 2 weeks in France with sometimes dodgy weather. 

   I`ll leave the debate for now but imo its little to do with Brexit but everything to do with changing tastes

I believe p prust is referring back to this post of Paully's on page 1.  Reproduced here for ease of reference!

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I must be some kind of weirdo I really didn’t find France that expensive compared to here , Saint Emilion was I suppose we got the train into Libourne (usually for free as there were no ticket machines and no one bothered coming round) and paid about €50 for a 3 course lunch with champagne for the wife and wine for me , Plerin in Brittany in March was super cheap for eating out and wine , €2 for a glass of wine , fruit and veg is expensive everywhere in France but the rest of the food not so much , we usually take almost everything apart from fresh food and wine with us.

Accomodation is an interesting one the excellent Gite in Plerin was €300 for a week the campsite in Lesconil €540 for 2 weeks, just priced our week in June for hotels it’s all depends on what you want but the new Ibis near Mont ST Michel is €35 a night, at the end of the day you pay your monies and make your choices each to their own.

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I quite agree with neilcvx as I do not find French prices expensive and remember if you pay with a UK card you also get what amounts to a 13% discount at present.

With regard to BF prices I consider them to be very reasonable, for example this summer a return trip in July/August was only £233 including cabins each way. Very good value!

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On 29/10/2018 at 13:45, Peter C said:

I quite agree with neilcvx as I do not find French prices expensive and remember if you pay with a UK card you also get what amounts to a 13% discount at present

I don't understand the 13% discount part.  Is there a magic UK card that gives you this?

Back to the topic of BF and Brexit,. Whilst this site was down a few days ago, this chap from Brittany Ferries did an item on BBC news about how bookings are down 5% for next year from what he described as "our regular customers"

He was fair and squarely blaming it on the Brexit affect.

 

IMG_20181105_165426-2.jpg

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Technically, it looks as if he was talking about the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, not the fact of it.  You can understand uncertainty having an impact on advance bookings.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

Technically, it looks as if he was talking about the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, not the fact of it.  You can understand uncertainty having an impact on advance bookings.

a little pedantic?

Although it would be interesting to hear how shipping compares to airlines, perhaps it's less interesting to the media, but I haven't heard anything that suggests there are anywhere near the number of certification issues.

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1 minute ago, penguin said:

a little pedantic?

No, I don't think so.  The actual effect of Brexit cannot be known yet (as Brexit hasn't yet happened, it can't have had any operational effect yet and we don't know what its effects will be) but is ultimately the thing that will be important.  The only factor that can possibly be at play at the moment is the uncertainty caused by the fact that we don't know anything, but that factor will be temporary.  At some point we will know.  If a 5% drop in advance bookings for BF (if, indeed, that figure is considered significant) can in whole or part be attributed to uncertainty over Brexit (as opposed to other possible factors, such as exchange rates and the increase in the deposit that have been mentioned by others) then that is a transient figure.  The actual effect of Brexit, the long term one that matters, may be better or worse than that.  We'll find out in due course.  Far be it for me to question what d2frs actually heard him say (as he says, he is the one that saw the interview), but just saying that the only meaningful thing he could have been talking about at the moment is the effect of the unknown.  And that would be consistent with the caption posted.  But I don't want to get into a fight over it, so I'll leave it at that apart from disagreeing that it is a pedantic distinction.

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