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The Future of Le Havre as a Ferry Port


Gareth
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4 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Only buses are available in Ouistreham.

Ouistreham and Caen are like Beauvais and Paris.

I get that but if you wanted to go to Le Mans, Rennes or Alencon (assuming madness had set in) by train, just as an example, which ferry port has the more direct links?

Ed. 

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11 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

I get that but if you wanted to go to Le Mans, Rennes or Alencon (assuming madness had set in) by train, just as an example, which ferry port has the more direct links?

Ed. 

By direct, do you mean no change or no backtracking?

Well. Ironically enough, probably St Malo.

Ouistreham has none. Le Havre has trains to Paris only (apart from one early morning train to Mantes and Marseille). Cherbourg has Paris (with a special stop at Mantes to connect into the Marseille service), And with one change access to Rennes (change at Lison) and Alencon and Le Mans, etc changing at Caen. 

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BF have a close relationship with PNA, they don't have similar with HAROPA.  The PNA and port authorities in the U.K. are happy to negotiate in terms of berthing costs, improvements, fuel availability etc... at the moment HAROPA don't seem to be too interested. The port may have a perfectly serviceable linkspan but in a similar way to Cork aren't too focused on it as it's not their raison d'etre.

The 2019 figures in terms pax numbers tell a story, they're still being finalised but indicate:

Ouistreham, 902,000.

Dieppe, 379,000.

Cherbourg 368,000.

Le Havre 154,000.

The port freight figures for 2019 are also an indicator.

Ouistreham, 105,000.

Dieppe, 26,500.

Le Havre 26,000.

Cherbourg 23,800.

This highlights that whilst numbers are recovering at Ouistreham, are increasing rapidly at Cherbourg, (up from 18,500), steady at Dieppe they are down over 10% at Le Havre.

It will be interesting to see what the final figures for 2019 are when the DFT publish them later in August.

I don't buy into the idea that a higher standard of vessel is part of the answer as both Transmanche ships are poor and are less attractive than Visentini's.

Le Havre & Portsmouth combined may also have better road links than Dieppe & Newhaven (the A26 isn't ideal) but again figures suggest to me that they're not an issue either. Dieppe's attractiveness may grow further once the N27 road improvements are concluded and Seine-Maritime who own Newhaven port have also financially aided the recent harbour railway station.

We like both Seine-Maritime ports as there is great dedicated motorhome parking at Honfleur and in Dieppe itself which for those of us that do own such things forms part of the decision making process in which way we travel.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, rogerpatenall said:

By direct, do you mean no change or no backtracking?

Well. Ironically enough, probably St Malo.

Ouistreham has none. Le Havre has trains to Paris only (apart from one early morning train to Mantes and Marseille). Cherbourg has Paris (with a special stop at Mantes to connect into the Marseille service), And with one change access to Rennes (change at Lison) and Alencon and Le Mans, etc changing at Caen. 

I was actually referring to Caen once you've got there on the express bus service from Ouistreham. 

St Malo does have direct trains to Paris etc yes but I don't think they tie in specifically to the ferry arrival times. 

Ed

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54 minutes ago, jonno said:

Dieppe, 379,000.

Hardly 'empty' as was suggested earlier.

55 minutes ago, jonno said:

they are down over 10% at Le Havre.

How many days were lost last year through strike action? I'm guessing 10% of those available. 

Ed 

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2 minutes ago, David Williams said:

They also added special brexit sailings for the first few months

Yes, I forgot that. It takes a special kind of genius to be able to carry less passengers on more ferries. Perhaps having such an attractive destination helps! 😜

Ed. 

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1 minute ago, Cabin-boy said:

Hardly 'empty' as was suggested earlier.

How many days were lost last year through strike action? I'm guessing 10% of those available. 

Ed 

That's right Ed, not empty at all and the train station should see that figure begin to increase.  It's not as close as the old Weymouth tramway (what a shame digging it up) but only a 5 minute walk.

The freight figures have been dropping since 2016 so the trend was there prior to the strikes but the pax figures were the best yet for BF. Most of the return sailings we took from Le Havre were more passenger vehicles on both BDS & Etretat so maybe a passenger ferry up to 200m and around 500 berths & lounge seating rather than a RoPax could be a solution?

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Ramsgate is looking for ferries as well as Le Havre. Is that a possible business opportunity for the ill fated Seaborne freight company, or for Mr Eiamunk who entertained persuasively for many months back in 2014. - a Belgian entrepreneur as a I recall. So  I propose a service from Ramsgate to Le Havre and Chris Grayling could mastermind it perhaps. 

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5 hours ago, neilcvx said:

Honfleur or shipping containers? It’s a tough call

It proves that you don't know Le Havre (or just the highway to get there).

There is no blush from an industrial port. It is the 5th or 6th port in Europe by volume. The cross-Channel terminal is right in the city centre, with the train station and public transport nearby. Just compare to Portsmouth, when you are pedestrian it is an ordeal to reach the station.

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5 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Have they? Sacrilege! That shows how long it's been since I last bothered to go there. It was always so much fun watching the car in front trying to remember of he had roof-bars attached or not when hurtling towards the plastic flaps and diving to the right at the last minute just in case. Ed

You'd be surprised if you come back... meanwhile you can see on google-earth. The urban city entrance highway has been transformed into a landscaped boulevard. It remains to make the last step with the interchange near the station which is to be transformed into an urban place. The 3rd tramway line is due to pass here soon. She's going to disconnect from the first line at the station.

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1 minute ago, LHCity said:

It proves that you don't know Le Havre (or just the highway to get there).

There is no blush from an industrial port. It is the 5th or 6th port in Europe by volume. The cross-Channel terminal is right in the city centre, with the train station and public transport nearby. Just compare to Portsmouth, when you are pedestrian it is an ordeal to reach the station.

It would appear that I know more about the various BF ports than you , I’ve nothing against Le Havre but it’s definitely not as picturesque as Honfleur, Roscoff, StMalo, Santander, Ouistreham.

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5 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Four hours ago you said:

'I think today it is not an important passenger line because the frequencies are low and the vessels unsuitable for passengers.'

It's not hard to generate an increase if you start low enough is it?  You just need one non-strike-interupted crossing extra (tough to achieve I'll admit in Le Havre) and, BINGO. 

Ed. 

Note that the frequencies have increased in Cherbourg and the number of passagers has not increased laste year. Proof that there is potential in Le Havre with better frequencies (while waiting to use more beautiful ships).

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2 minutes ago, LHCity said:

You'd be surprised if you come back... meanwhile you can see on google-earth. The urban city entrance highway has been transformed into a landscaped boulevard. It remains to make the last step with the interchange near the station which is to be transformed into an urban place. The 3rd tramway line is due to pass here soon. She's going to disconnect from the first line at the station.

We last visited LH in February 2019 and I did notice there's been a conscious effort to improve appearances. The tram is a good addition, though with dogs not permitted we couldn't use it.

Whilst it's no doubt good for locals, the majority of ferry passengers will just be passing through.

 

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5 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Beyond Paris yes, but nowhere else. From Caen you can go east, south and west by train. Ed.

Caen/Rennes link has been removed. The Caen/Le Mans direct route takes longer than Caen / Le Mans via Paris. The Caen ring road is still congested and the bus links between the ferry to Ouistreham and Caen Station are not very good. In Le Havre, you almost reach the level of the station

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1 minute ago, LHCity said:

Caen/Rennes link has been removed. The Caen/Le Mans direct route takes longer than Caen / Le Mans via Paris. The Caen ring road is still congested and the bus links between the ferry to Ouistreham and Caen Station are not very good. In Le Havre, you almost reach the level of the station

I seem to recall there being buses connecting in line with the ferry timetable in Ouistreham. Has that changed?

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4 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

I get that but if you wanted to go to Le Mans, Rennes or Alencon (assuming madness had set in) by train, just as an example, which ferry port has the more direct links?

Ed. 

Same from Le Havre A29 North to Amiens, A131/A13 to Paris, Orleans... A29 South to Le Mans, Caen, Rennes, Tours... The downside in Le Havre is the passage of the Normandy Bridge, but in Caen it is the congestion on the ring road

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7 minutes ago, LHCity said:

Caen/Rennes link has been removed. The Caen/Le Mans direct route takes longer than Caen / Le Mans via Paris. The Caen ring road is still congested and the bus links between the ferry to Ouistreham and Caen Station are not very good. In Le Havre, you almost reach the level of the station

No,  the link to Rennes definitely exists.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.oui.sncf/en/train/timetables/caen/rennes&ved=2ahUKEwjhs4Xx1_XqAhWSShUIHX4dCH0QFjADegQIARAI&usg=AOvVaw3SiZI3uUnbzXrLCfwNWn0H

As for the line to Le Mans it can be under 2 hours. You can't do it via Paris in less than 2, I'm certain. 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.oui.sncf/train/horaires/caen/le-mans&ved=2ahUKEwi-zqyY1_XqAhWNQRUIHdB4DaEQFjAGegQIBBAC&usg=AOvVaw0o2KkFrXoOadDAfA9uqNF-

I've never tried the buses so can't comment on them but I assume they are timed to match the ferries.

Ed

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13 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

It would appear that I know more about the various BF ports than you , I’ve nothing against Le Havre but it’s definitely not as picturesque as Honfleur, Roscoff, StMalo, Santander, Ouistreham.

Ouistreham is not very picturesque. It looks like a British seaside resort. The arrival by boat is not very spectacular. It is neither the arrival in Portsmouth nor the arrival in Le Havre with the "parade". The picturesque, is not the number one success of an otherwise line there would be no more ferries to Rotterdam, Dunkirk, Bilbao or Portsmouth. Arriving in a large city, rather than in a secondary port is also an advantage.

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