Will Posted December 18, 2006 Share Posted December 18, 2006 Apparently Thursday (21 Dec) is the day when the Seine Maritime Council and its partners in the Transmanche ferry service will announce the name of the company selected to run the service, which operates between Dieppe and Newhaven, on its behalf.Several experienced shipping companies, reportedly including Sea France, Brittany Ferries, Trasmediterranea and LD Lines, were invited to put in bids. Of those, it seems that two actually made proposals - LD Lines (which runs the ferry service between Portsmouth and Le Havre) and Veolia (which will be familiar to British rail commuters under its former name of Connex).LD Lines seems to be the favoured bidder by most who have commented, having made a success of the Le Havre service where P&O had previously failed. However, it is thought that the proposal could involve running a reduced or re-timed service between Dieppe and Newhaven in order to put more tonnage on the Portsmouth-Le Havre route, something which is not likely to be regarded favourably by Transmanche's current owners. This is unconfirmed speculation, but makes sense because LD desperately needs another ship for Le Havre.So what of Veolia? If that is the final choice, it will not be too popular with a lot of people in Britain. Under its former identity, it actually had its franchise removed by the rail regulators for poor performance, and, ironically, it was the rail company that formerly served Newhaven. The company is mainly involved in water, waste management and utilities, though its transportation division runs buses in Wales and the East Midlands, and has other transport interests worldwide, including running the urban transport schemes in many French cities, including Le Havre and Rouen which means it will be familiar to Transmanche's owners.The Newhaven-Dieppe ferry service does need a proper transport company behind it. It has enjoyed a poor punctuality, reliability and safety record under Transmanche, and the two new ships delivered in 2006 do not seem to have made a lot of difference. Its advantages, at least at present, are that it offers three crossings each way on most days (but could manage more) and the fares are low.It will be interesting to see what happens. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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