Newhaven port faces closure amid doubts over ferry

The ferry comes into Newhaven harbour from Dieppe – Picture by Kate Howell

The ferry comes into Newhaven harbour from Dieppe – Picture by Kate Howell

First published in News
Last updated
by , Senior Reporter

On the 150th anniversary of the first cross-Channel ferry journey from Newhaven to Dieppe, the future looks bleak for the Sussex port. Officials in France look set to cancel millions of euros of public subsidy, leaving the harbour at risk of financial ruin. Bill Gardner reports on the stormy outlook for the county’s most important sea link.

Newhaven Port could close with the loss of more than 500 jobs if French taxpayers refuse to foot the bill for the ferry crossing to Dieppe.

Officials across the Channel look set to pull the plug on a yearly, taxpayer-funded subsidy which currently keeps the route in business.

Harbour bosses said the loss of the ferry would cripple the French-owned port financially, leaving it struggling to stay afloat.

Captain Francois Jean, port manager, said: “It’s our core business and if the ferry disappears then it would be very difficult to survive. Ultimately, it would mean the closure of the whole port.

“But all the money for running the ferry is from the French side – and the decision is up to them.”

Last year around 252,000 passengers and more than two million tonnes of freight passed through the port.

Newhaven's workforce

Forty businesses are based there, employing more than 500 people – around 10% of the local working population.

Yet earlier this month at a meeting in Dieppe, French officials told ferry bosses the annual 20 million euro taxpayer subsidy would not be renewed after December 2014.

And this week a spokesman for the Conseil Générale de Seine Maritime, the public body which helps keep the ferry route in business, told a French newspaper: “We will pay not a penny more.”

Council bosses say losing the port would be a “disaster” for the local economy, both in Newhaven and across the county.

Legal wrangles

But The Argus understands negotiations between the French and local authorities in Sussex to try to save it from closure have already broken down amid bitter accusations and legal wrangling.

Newhaven Port and Properties (NPP), the port’s French owners, were locked in a High Court battle with East Sussex County Council over the West Beach, which was closed over safety fears in 2008.

The local authority wants to reopen the sandy stretch at the mouth of the marina as a village green, but port bosses argue they would be held liable if anyone was to come to harm.

Today (March 27) the High Court found in favourof Newhaven Town Council's bid to declare the beach a village green – but one insider said the French now simply “won’t do business” with local councils because of the row.

Poor relationship

Lewes MP Norman Baker said he was acting as an “honest broker” between the parties and would visit France in coming months to try to reach a solution.

He said: “I’ve been in touch with them for some time and I’m trying to steer the ship into safe waters.

"It’s not easy because relationships between the French and East Sussex County Council in particular are not good.

“The situation with the West Beach has certainly exacerbated matters. But I’m hopeful that we are not yet past the point of no return.”

No subsidy

Port manager Captain Jean, who works for NPP, suggested local authorities in Sussex should step in to support the route financially in the same way taxpayers across the Channel did in 2007.

He said: “The councils here won’t put any money in but exactly why they won’t is a question you would have to ask them.”

In response Councillor James Page, Leader of Lewes District Council, said it was “impossible and illegal” for local authorities in the UK to step in and subsidise the ferry route.

He said: “They are making noises in our direction but it’s not something that a local authority here can do.

“There’s certainly some confusion there. I don’t mean it in a disrespectful way but I think they need to understand the situation a bit more fully.”

No understanding

One council insider said the French “had no understanding of how local government works over here”.

But they said many UK officials felt they had “too much invested” in the port to let it founder and that the plans to remove the subsidy were being seen as an “empty threat”.

Last year NPP published a masterplan detailing plans to expand and regenerate the port over the next 30 years.

Also, unemployment is high in Dieppe, which would suffer if the route was forced to close.

Wind farm contract

And in October it was announced Newhaven had won a 25-year contract to become the operations and maintenance base for a giant offshore wind farm.

Coun Page said he believed the French were still “very serious” about keeping the port open.

He said: “If they weren’t they wouldn’t have bid for the wind farm contract. That will be a huge amount of revenue for them.

“My personal view is that they will find a way to keep it going.”

It’s your voice

How important is Newhaven port to the Sussex economy?

Share your views on The Argus letters pages by email letters@theargus.co.uk or comment below

Port no stranger to controversy

This is not the first Anglo-French argument over the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry link.

When the first roll-on, roll-off car ferry sailed into service on the route in 1973, the name chosen for the first ship, The Senlac, caused a cross-Channel spat.

Senlac Hill was the location of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the French were not entirely happy with the choice – despite the victory of William of Normandy.

On board the ship, images of the battle were featured and the cafeteria displayed scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry.

Sealink route

In January 1982 it was announced that Sealink UK would pull out of the route and its agreement with the French railway company SNCF – meaning The Senlac was to be sold.

The crew of 240, including six women, staged a sit-in on board the ship, effectively blocking the French-owned ships from using the port.

In Newhaven a campaign called Save Our Senlac (SOS) was launched with food parcels delivered to the striking crew-men.

The campaign gathered momentum and became national news with Jim Slater, general secretary of the National Union of Seamen, visiting the ship and pledging his full support. He left the ship wearing an SOS badge.

Ferry history

After five weeks of the sit-in, Sealink UK announced that a new agreement had been agreed with the French and most of the 240 crew would keep their jobs.

An exhibition which marks the 40th anniversary of the first sailing of the Senlac from Newhaven to Dieppe in May 1973 will open on Easter Saturday (March 30) at the Newhaven Local and Maritime Museum at Paradise Park, Newhaven.

Former crew members John Paddy and Mick Cutler, who built the exhibit, will be on-hand between 2pm and 5pm to talk about their memories on-board and to welcome any other crew members who served on the Senlac between 1973 and 1985.

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Comments (41)

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1:24pm Wed 27 Mar 13

FC says...

Running a private business completely reliant on government funding is a joke. Especially as, I assume, it is a for-profit company. Is that even fair?
Running a private business completely reliant on government funding is a joke. Especially as, I assume, it is a for-profit company. Is that even fair? FC
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Wed 27 Mar 13

monkeymoo says...

Who cares if the FRENCH port closes...

All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway.

The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs).

The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all).

There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town.

A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton.

The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!).

SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out.
Who cares if the FRENCH port closes... All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway. The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs). The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town. A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton. The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!). SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out. monkeymoo
  • Score: -3

1:32pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Indigatio says...

Sounds like a game of political chess has just started.
Sounds like a game of political chess has just started. Indigatio
  • Score: 1

1:48pm Wed 27 Mar 13

rolivan says...

monkeymoo wrote:
Who cares if the FRENCH port closes...

All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway.

The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs).

The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all).

There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town.

A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton.

The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!).

SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out.
If it is owned by the French how will a local Firm be able to take over?Where is all of this money going to come from for redevelopment?
Brittany Ferries who operate mostly in the West of England And France have cut back on a lot of their timetables and staff have suffered.Be careful what you wish for if you are connected to Newhaven
[quote][p][bold]monkeymoo[/bold] wrote: Who cares if the FRENCH port closes... All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway. The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs). The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town. A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton. The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!). SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out.[/p][/quote]If it is owned by the French how will a local Firm be able to take over?Where is all of this money going to come from for redevelopment? Brittany Ferries who operate mostly in the West of England And France have cut back on a lot of their timetables and staff have suffered.Be careful what you wish for if you are connected to Newhaven rolivan
  • Score: -1

2:05pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Ouseler says...

"The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). "

Strange! I've never noticed the Dieppe ferry passing through the swing bridge..'twould be interesting to see I admit.....

I suppose the millions flocking across the channel to visit the biggest water park that's going to be built...will have to find a different route...
"The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). " Strange! I've never noticed the Dieppe ferry passing through the swing bridge..'twould be interesting to see I admit..... I suppose the millions flocking across the channel to visit the biggest water park that's going to be built...will have to find a different route... Ouseler
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Wed 27 Mar 13

spa301 says...

rolivan wrote:
monkeymoo wrote: Who cares if the FRENCH port closes... All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway. The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs). The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town. A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton. The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!). SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out.
If it is owned by the French how will a local Firm be able to take over?Where is all of this money going to come from for redevelopment? Brittany Ferries who operate mostly in the West of England And France have cut back on a lot of their timetables and staff have suffered.Be careful what you wish for if you are connected to Newhaven
Totally agree.
Previous comment didn't seem to be anchored within the real world but I just assumed it was from a 'green'
[quote][p][bold]rolivan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]monkeymoo[/bold] wrote: Who cares if the FRENCH port closes... All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway. The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs). The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town. A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton. The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!). SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out.[/p][/quote]If it is owned by the French how will a local Firm be able to take over?Where is all of this money going to come from for redevelopment? Brittany Ferries who operate mostly in the West of England And France have cut back on a lot of their timetables and staff have suffered.Be careful what you wish for if you are connected to Newhaven[/p][/quote]Totally agree. Previous comment didn't seem to be anchored within the real world but I just assumed it was from a 'green' spa301
  • Score: 0

2:22pm Wed 27 Mar 13

registeredvoter says...

The Newhaven port should be scrapped anyway. The channel tunnel and Dover ferries are more than adequate.
The Newhaven port should be scrapped anyway. The channel tunnel and Dover ferries are more than adequate. registeredvoter
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Wed 27 Mar 13

rolivan says...

registeredvoter wrote:
The Newhaven port should be scrapped anyway. The channel tunnel and Dover ferries are more than adequate.
more than adequate isn't enough when you are running a Transport Business
[quote][p][bold]registeredvoter[/bold] wrote: The Newhaven port should be scrapped anyway. The channel tunnel and Dover ferries are more than adequate.[/p][/quote]more than adequate isn't enough when you are running a Transport Business rolivan
  • Score: -1

2:31pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Brightonlad86 says...

spa301 wrote:
rolivan wrote:
monkeymoo wrote: Who cares if the FRENCH port closes... All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway. The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs). The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town. A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton. The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!). SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out.
If it is owned by the French how will a local Firm be able to take over?Where is all of this money going to come from for redevelopment? Brittany Ferries who operate mostly in the West of England And France have cut back on a lot of their timetables and staff have suffered.Be careful what you wish for if you are connected to Newhaven
Totally agree.
Previous comment didn't seem to be anchored within the real world but I just assumed it was from a 'green'
I feel you may be missing the point that monkeymoo was making.

Without the ferries, the port would lose its main source of income. If this were to happen I'd expect it to eventually close as it will just continue to lose money. The French firm would want to sell the port as it would not be generating and profit...
[quote][p][bold]spa301[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rolivan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]monkeymoo[/bold] wrote: Who cares if the FRENCH port closes... All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway. The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs). The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town. A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton. The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!). SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out.[/p][/quote]If it is owned by the French how will a local Firm be able to take over?Where is all of this money going to come from for redevelopment? Brittany Ferries who operate mostly in the West of England And France have cut back on a lot of their timetables and staff have suffered.Be careful what you wish for if you are connected to Newhaven[/p][/quote]Totally agree. Previous comment didn't seem to be anchored within the real world but I just assumed it was from a 'green'[/p][/quote]I feel you may be missing the point that monkeymoo was making. Without the ferries, the port would lose its main source of income. If this were to happen I'd expect it to eventually close as it will just continue to lose money. The French firm would want to sell the port as it would not be generating and profit... Brightonlad86
  • Score: -1

2:44pm Wed 27 Mar 13

rolivan says...

Brightonlad86 wrote:
spa301 wrote:
rolivan wrote:
monkeymoo wrote: Who cares if the FRENCH port closes... All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway. The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs). The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town. A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton. The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!). SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out.
If it is owned by the French how will a local Firm be able to take over?Where is all of this money going to come from for redevelopment? Brittany Ferries who operate mostly in the West of England And France have cut back on a lot of their timetables and staff have suffered.Be careful what you wish for if you are connected to Newhaven
Totally agree.
Previous comment didn't seem to be anchored within the real world but I just assumed it was from a 'green'
I feel you may be missing the point that monkeymoo was making.

Without the ferries, the port would lose its main source of income. If this were to happen I'd expect it to eventually close as it will just continue to lose money. The French firm would want to sell the port as it would not be generating and profit...
So where would the money come from to redevelop it?You are talking Hundreds of Millions if ot Billions for the whole area.
[quote][p][bold]Brightonlad86[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]spa301[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rolivan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]monkeymoo[/bold] wrote: Who cares if the FRENCH port closes... All it will mean is a LOCAL firm will be able to take over the every day running. Most of the jobs the ferry creates ARE NOT local anyway. The beach will most likely be opened up, generating lots of LOCAL income from cafes and parking (and jobs). The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). There will be more room for redevelopment of the area by businesses that will regenerate the town. A larger 'private' harbour could be built, similar to Eastbourne and Brighton. The FRENCH owned incinerator, would have to re-think its ideas about shipping in FRENCH waste (yes, it is developing the port to do so!). SO....All in all.... Lets hope the French pull out.[/p][/quote]If it is owned by the French how will a local Firm be able to take over?Where is all of this money going to come from for redevelopment? Brittany Ferries who operate mostly in the West of England And France have cut back on a lot of their timetables and staff have suffered.Be careful what you wish for if you are connected to Newhaven[/p][/quote]Totally agree. Previous comment didn't seem to be anchored within the real world but I just assumed it was from a 'green'[/p][/quote]I feel you may be missing the point that monkeymoo was making. Without the ferries, the port would lose its main source of income. If this were to happen I'd expect it to eventually close as it will just continue to lose money. The French firm would want to sell the port as it would not be generating and profit...[/p][/quote]So where would the money come from to redevelop it?You are talking Hundreds of Millions if ot Billions for the whole area. rolivan
  • Score: -1

2:50pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Crystal Ball says...

Ouseler wrote:
"The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). "

Strange! I've never noticed the Dieppe ferry passing through the swing bridge..'twould be interesting to see I admit.....

I suppose the millions flocking across the channel to visit the biggest water park that's going to be built...will have to find a different route...
They could arrive in Portsmouth, travel along the coast, crawl their way through Brighton @ 20mph and join the queue that is the A259.
[quote][p][bold]Ouseler[/bold] wrote: "The pollution from sitting traffic will decrease, as the bridge will not have to open as often (if at all). " Strange! I've never noticed the Dieppe ferry passing through the swing bridge..'twould be interesting to see I admit..... I suppose the millions flocking across the channel to visit the biggest water park that's going to be built...will have to find a different route...[/p][/quote]They could arrive in Portsmouth, travel along the coast, crawl their way through Brighton @ 20mph and join the queue that is the A259. Crystal Ball
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Wed 27 Mar 13

pauljeff39 says...

Some people / businesses rely on this ferry link. If it closes it will have a significant impact. I am speaking as someone who has ties with Newhaven/Dieppe and know of the effect closure will have. Hope the political aspects sort themselves out and the line can be maintained - Those people who say 'let it close' are not aware of the full consequences
Some people / businesses rely on this ferry link. If it closes it will have a significant impact. I am speaking as someone who has ties with Newhaven/Dieppe and know of the effect closure will have. Hope the political aspects sort themselves out and the line can be maintained - Those people who say 'let it close' are not aware of the full consequences pauljeff39
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Wed 27 Mar 13

cvs says...

I'm a bit confused about these 40th anniversary dates. I was a regular user of the car ferries with my parents in the 60's. They were called Falaise, Valencay and Villandry. That was nearly 50 years ago
I'm a bit confused about these 40th anniversary dates. I was a regular user of the car ferries with my parents in the 60's. They were called Falaise, Valencay and Villandry. That was nearly 50 years ago cvs
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Wed 27 Mar 13

pauljeff39 says...

Nice picture of the 'Dieppe' by the way, which has not operated between Newhaven and Dieppe for years - That and the Sardinia Vera were replaced by The Seven Sisters and Cote D'Albatre in 2006 if memory serves me right.
Nice picture of the 'Dieppe' by the way, which has not operated between Newhaven and Dieppe for years - That and the Sardinia Vera were replaced by The Seven Sisters and Cote D'Albatre in 2006 if memory serves me right. pauljeff39
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Wed 27 Mar 13

fredflintstone1 says...

Perhaps if those running the service were a bit more customer-focused and imaginative, they might get a better return?

It's basically impossible to have a day trip to Dieppe, which used to be a popular option for many people. Today, it takes eight hours to travel the 128 miles there and back = 16mph.
Perhaps if those running the service were a bit more customer-focused and imaginative, they might get a better return? It's basically impossible to have a day trip to Dieppe, which used to be a popular option for many people. Today, it takes eight hours to travel the 128 miles there and back = 16mph. fredflintstone1
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Wed 27 Mar 13

wexler53 says...

This is a private business that is subsidised by the French government and their taxpayers.

With the economy shot to bits, this subsidy is an obvious target. That said, the crews are mostly French I believe, and they are a seriously militant lot.

I can't see them rolling over and losing their jobs without a fight, so there could well be scope for a different solution to evolve.

With limited capacity, a long crossing, and awful connections this side of the channel, this is a link that doesn't make commercial sense anyway. This explains the politics of the subsidy, politics which may well be changing in the current economic climate.
This is a private business that is subsidised by the French government and their taxpayers. With the economy shot to bits, this subsidy is an obvious target. That said, the crews are mostly French I believe, and they are a seriously militant lot. I can't see them rolling over and losing their jobs without a fight, so there could well be scope for a different solution to evolve. With limited capacity, a long crossing, and awful connections this side of the channel, this is a link that doesn't make commercial sense anyway. This explains the politics of the subsidy, politics which may well be changing in the current economic climate. wexler53
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Kiddon72 says...

This is purely a tactic.
Release this "information" at the same time as the Courts uphold the vilage green arguement.
Drop the vilage green and we will continue to operate the ferry.
Oh well. We can keep the port open by shipping rubbish to the incinerator.
This is purely a tactic. Release this "information" at the same time as the Courts uphold the vilage green arguement. Drop the vilage green and we will continue to operate the ferry. Oh well. We can keep the port open by shipping rubbish to the incinerator. Kiddon72
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Jetsamandflotsam says...

Its been so badly run it may as well close anyway.
Very few crossings, all at wierd times, closes at the whim of the french unions, and cant even work out when a spring tide would effect sailings.
Utter shambles, which is a shame as it is on our doorsteps.
I stopped using it because it is expensive, slow and far too unreliable.
Its been so badly run it may as well close anyway. Very few crossings, all at wierd times, closes at the whim of the french unions, and cant even work out when a spring tide would effect sailings. Utter shambles, which is a shame as it is on our doorsteps. I stopped using it because it is expensive, slow and far too unreliable. Jetsamandflotsam
  • Score: -1

5:07pm Wed 27 Mar 13

John Steed says...

Its a good route served by good ferries & crews. its local, its an asset to the area. hopefully it will remain, like so many things that are taken for granted, it will only be missed if it isnt there.
Its a good route served by good ferries & crews. its local, its an asset to the area. hopefully it will remain, like so many things that are taken for granted, it will only be missed if it isnt there. John Steed
  • Score: 1

5:15pm Wed 27 Mar 13

rolivan says...

Jetsamandflotsam wrote:
Its been so badly run it may as well close anyway.
Very few crossings, all at wierd times, closes at the whim of the french unions, and cant even work out when a spring tide would effect sailings.
Utter shambles, which is a shame as it is on our doorsteps.
I stopped using it because it is expensive, slow and far too unreliable.
Have you travelled with SNCF?Pity the Privateers got their hands on British Rail.The French actually do something when they have a greivance not just let the Companies steamroller them into submission.As for the Ferry Company they are relatively cheap when you compare them with other Companies operating along the South Coast.Seems like a quarter of a million passengers are happy enough let alone the Freight Companies.
[quote][p][bold]Jetsamandflotsam[/bold] wrote: Its been so badly run it may as well close anyway. Very few crossings, all at wierd times, closes at the whim of the french unions, and cant even work out when a spring tide would effect sailings. Utter shambles, which is a shame as it is on our doorsteps. I stopped using it because it is expensive, slow and far too unreliable.[/p][/quote]Have you travelled with SNCF?Pity the Privateers got their hands on British Rail.The French actually do something when they have a greivance not just let the Companies steamroller them into submission.As for the Ferry Company they are relatively cheap when you compare them with other Companies operating along the South Coast.Seems like a quarter of a million passengers are happy enough let alone the Freight Companies. rolivan
  • Score: 1

5:38pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Ian1234 says...

If this service needs a subsidy in the region of €14 million pa is it really needed? There are alternatives at nearby Dover and Portsmouth.
Although there may be 500 people employed in the harbour area at Newhaven I would doubt if more than 5% of them would be affected by the closure of the ferry service.
Quite frankly it would create more jobs by doing away with the service and putting the residual land to more productive use.
If this service needs a subsidy in the region of €14 million pa is it really needed? There are alternatives at nearby Dover and Portsmouth. Although there may be 500 people employed in the harbour area at Newhaven I would doubt if more than 5% of them would be affected by the closure of the ferry service. Quite frankly it would create more jobs by doing away with the service and putting the residual land to more productive use. Ian1234
  • Score: 0

6:29pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Ballroom Blitz says...

It's route is incredibly useful to Sussex people, especially those living in Brighton.
The alternatives are a 2 hr drive to Dover or a 90 minute drive to Portsmouth, instead of a 15 min drive to Newhaven.
I like the route, and would be sorry to see it go.
It's route is incredibly useful to Sussex people, especially those living in Brighton. The alternatives are a 2 hr drive to Dover or a 90 minute drive to Portsmouth, instead of a 15 min drive to Newhaven. I like the route, and would be sorry to see it go. Ballroom Blitz
  • Score: 1

6:37pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Old Ladys Gin says...

150 years and yet Newhaven still refuses to get involved?
People in the town moaned they could not get jobs when it became Transmanche because they could not speak French.
Even for the dullest Newhaven resident 150 years to learn another language would be a bit of a long time!
They've nobody to blame but themselves and if it goes it will be a great loss as Dieppe at very least welcomes you warmly.
150 years and yet Newhaven still refuses to get involved? People in the town moaned they could not get jobs when it became Transmanche because they could not speak French. Even for the dullest Newhaven resident 150 years to learn another language would be a bit of a long time! They've nobody to blame but themselves and if it goes it will be a great loss as Dieppe at very least welcomes you warmly. Old Ladys Gin
  • Score: 1

6:43pm Wed 27 Mar 13

registeredvoter says...

Ballroom Blitz wrote:
It's route is incredibly useful to Sussex people, especially those living in Brighton.
The alternatives are a 2 hr drive to Dover or a 90 minute drive to Portsmouth, instead of a 15 min drive to Newhaven.
I like the route, and would be sorry to see it go.
They're not going to keep a money losing business open just to serve a few Sussex chavs are they?
[quote][p][bold]Ballroom Blitz[/bold] wrote: It's route is incredibly useful to Sussex people, especially those living in Brighton. The alternatives are a 2 hr drive to Dover or a 90 minute drive to Portsmouth, instead of a 15 min drive to Newhaven. I like the route, and would be sorry to see it go.[/p][/quote]They're not going to keep a money losing business open just to serve a few Sussex chavs are they? registeredvoter
  • Score: 1

7:18pm Wed 27 Mar 13

stuie1994 says...

I worry about small businesses like mine who rent there premises from NPP Ltd, what will happen to us and there is quite a few of us, times have been hard enough.
I worry about small businesses like mine who rent there premises from NPP Ltd, what will happen to us and there is quite a few of us, times have been hard enough. stuie1994
  • Score: 1

7:33pm Wed 27 Mar 13

smallie says...

Does that mean that damned bridge will be open to traffic all the time? Hooray.
Does that mean that damned bridge will be open to traffic all the time? Hooray. smallie
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Morpheus says...

I have no idea whether it is worth keeping the port open, but what I do object to is that is French taxpayers who will decide. How we can let our important assets be taken over by foreign companies is beyond comprehension. It is even worse when it is French nationalised industries that have control of the assets, EDF being one of the worst examples. The French and Germans have not followed the same path and do not allow foreign takeovers of their important companies. What our politicians have between their ears is a mystery, but it isn't brains.
I have no idea whether it is worth keeping the port open, but what I do object to is that is French taxpayers who will decide. How we can let our important assets be taken over by foreign companies is beyond comprehension. It is even worse when it is French nationalised industries that have control of the assets, EDF being one of the worst examples. The French and Germans have not followed the same path and do not allow foreign takeovers of their important companies. What our politicians have between their ears is a mystery, but it isn't brains. Morpheus
  • Score: -1

8:55pm Wed 27 Mar 13

s_james says...

Very amused that people still think waste will be shipped from France to the incinerator! Its at capacity dealing with our own waste and the French do actually have their own waste facilities
Very amused that people still think waste will be shipped from France to the incinerator! Its at capacity dealing with our own waste and the French do actually have their own waste facilities s_james
  • Score: 0

8:55pm Wed 27 Mar 13

Hove Actually says...

Just a Bluff.........
Just a Bluff......... Hove Actually
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Wed 27 Mar 13

leobrighton says...

Looks like the crowds of french school children in Brighton in the summer could become a thing of the past so it won't all be bad
Looks like the crowds of french school children in Brighton in the summer could become a thing of the past so it won't all be bad leobrighton
  • Score: -1

9:23pm Wed 27 Mar 13

HJarrs says...

We have been very lucky that for the last 6 years a French region has subsidised and invested substantial sums in Newhaven Port. If this had not been the case, the port would have gone the same way as Parker Pens.

It is scandelous that we are now so hands-off, once local authorities built, owned and ran many utilities and services including ferry services. Now, we would rather see the port and the surrounding businesses going to wrack and ruin than invest and make the port work. Sadly, we have had to rely upon the go-ahead French regional Seine Maritime for the continuation of this great Sussex asset.

Once the service is gone, it will not come back. I will be looking to book a trip in the summer to give them some business and use this ferry before it becomes something else to be read about in the Nostalgia section of the Argus.
We have been very lucky that for the last 6 years a French region has subsidised and invested substantial sums in Newhaven Port. If this had not been the case, the port would have gone the same way as Parker Pens. It is scandelous that we are now so hands-off, once local authorities built, owned and ran many utilities and services including ferry services. Now, we would rather see the port and the surrounding businesses going to wrack and ruin than invest and make the port work. Sadly, we have had to rely upon the go-ahead French regional Seine Maritime for the continuation of this great Sussex asset. Once the service is gone, it will not come back. I will be looking to book a trip in the summer to give them some business and use this ferry before it becomes something else to be read about in the Nostalgia section of the Argus. HJarrs
  • Score: 0

9:35pm Wed 27 Mar 13

BN1 JB says...

Newhaven is a Carsey. The high street is like something out of a killer epedemic movie. As a gate to the UK, it is a total embarrassment. So on that note "ce la vie" if the Ferry docks no longer! Inbred was the word I left out.
Newhaven is a Carsey. The high street is like something out of a killer epedemic movie. As a gate to the UK, it is a total embarrassment. So on that note "ce la vie" if the Ferry docks no longer! Inbred was the word I left out. BN1 JB
  • Score: -1

10:45pm Wed 27 Mar 13

rockie says...

As usual local and national politicians on this side of the Channel have sat on their hands and let the regional government in France take the strain to support the Newhaven/Dieppe ferry route.
Any investment in Newhaven Port has also been left to the French and transport links to Newhaven have been appalling. Even Newhaven Harbour station is inaccessible to ferry passengers, how crazy is that?
It is a bit rich for Norman Baker MP to claim he is trying to mediate - he and East Sussex County Council have done nothing to support the excellent direct route to Normandy and Paris and the jobs it supports in Newhaven.
Now the court judgment over a tatty oily beach means that anyone using the West Beach could potentially sue the port and ferry company for creating pollution and excessive waves from the ships entering and leaving harbour.
What a shambles, another nail in Newhaven's coffin...
As usual local and national politicians on this side of the Channel have sat on their hands and let the regional government in France take the strain to support the Newhaven/Dieppe ferry route. Any investment in Newhaven Port has also been left to the French and transport links to Newhaven have been appalling. Even Newhaven Harbour station is inaccessible to ferry passengers, how crazy is that? It is a bit rich for Norman Baker MP to claim he is trying to mediate - he and East Sussex County Council have done nothing to support the excellent direct route to Normandy and Paris and the jobs it supports in Newhaven. Now the court judgment over a tatty oily beach means that anyone using the West Beach could potentially sue the port and ferry company for creating pollution and excessive waves from the ships entering and leaving harbour. What a shambles, another nail in Newhaven's coffin... rockie
  • Score: 1

10:45pm Wed 27 Mar 13

cvs says...

Seems beyond belief that day trips are no longer possible. Surely they would double the passenger numbers in a flash if reinstated. Used to have many lovely trips to Dieppe and the French could do the same the other way for a day in Newhaven....oh!
Seems beyond belief that day trips are no longer possible. Surely they would double the passenger numbers in a flash if reinstated. Used to have many lovely trips to Dieppe and the French could do the same the other way for a day in Newhaven....oh! cvs
  • Score: 0

6:54am Thu 28 Mar 13

Tall Boys says...

If Norman Baker is involved this is only going one way.
If Norman Baker is involved this is only going one way. Tall Boys
  • Score: 0

7:48am Thu 28 Mar 13

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

I have a friend who lives just north of Dieppe and I live in Brighton. I can't remember the last time either of us used the Newhaven/Dieppe link, whereas when he first moved there in the late 1980s we used it almost 100% of the time. It's expensive, infrequent and slow - and that's with a massive subsidy!

It does beg the question of why should the French keep on subsidising it? I don't blame them for not understanding how local government works in Britain, I'm still struggling to understand why Brighton Council can't use the parking income to subsidise the in-city bus routes to make them affordable. It's all down to the 'wonderful' free-market economy we 'enjoy' in the U, and so if a private company can't stump up the cash to replace that the French are withdrawing then the inefficient port WILL close. And yes, you can blame Thatcher!
I have a friend who lives just north of Dieppe and I live in Brighton. I can't remember the last time either of us used the Newhaven/Dieppe link, whereas when he first moved there in the late 1980s we used it almost 100% of the time. It's expensive, infrequent and slow - and that's with a massive subsidy! It does beg the question of why should the French keep on subsidising it? I don't blame them for not understanding how local government works in Britain, I'm still struggling to understand why Brighton Council can't use the parking income to subsidise the in-city bus routes to make them affordable. It's all down to the 'wonderful' free-market economy we 'enjoy' in the U, and so if a private company can't stump up the cash to replace that the French are withdrawing then the inefficient port WILL close. And yes, you can blame Thatcher! Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit
  • Score: 0

9:09am Thu 28 Mar 13

raymondo999 says...

Use the route regularly. Just booked a five day return for car and two passengers for £62. Foot passenger return £24. It is not expensive and usually the boat is only 20 per cent full out of season. It's a delight. But can't see the french continuing to spend £20 million per year subsidising it. Dieppe doesn't need the ferry, it's a thriving port with 40 per cent growth last year. Newhaven the town and the port is as everyone knows run down, and will suffer if the french withdraw their subsidy. Pity. Will have to go elsewhere for good food and wine. Easyjet and car hire seems on the cards.
Use the route regularly. Just booked a five day return for car and two passengers for £62. Foot passenger return £24. It is not expensive and usually the boat is only 20 per cent full out of season. It's a delight. But can't see the french continuing to spend £20 million per year subsidising it. Dieppe doesn't need the ferry, it's a thriving port with 40 per cent growth last year. Newhaven the town and the port is as everyone knows run down, and will suffer if the french withdraw their subsidy. Pity. Will have to go elsewhere for good food and wine. Easyjet and car hire seems on the cards. raymondo999
  • Score: 0

9:10am Thu 28 Mar 13

raymondo999 says...

Use the route regularly. Just booked a five day return for car and two passengers for £62. Foot passenger return £24. It is not expensive and usually the boat is only 20 per cent full out of season. It's a delight. But can't see the french continuing to spend £20 million per year subsidising it. Dieppe doesn't need the ferry, it's a thriving port with 40 per cent growth last year. Newhaven the town and the port is as everyone knows run down, and will suffer if the french withdraw their subsidy. Pity. Will have to go elsewhere for good food and wine. Easyjet and car hire seems on the cards.
Use the route regularly. Just booked a five day return for car and two passengers for £62. Foot passenger return £24. It is not expensive and usually the boat is only 20 per cent full out of season. It's a delight. But can't see the french continuing to spend £20 million per year subsidising it. Dieppe doesn't need the ferry, it's a thriving port with 40 per cent growth last year. Newhaven the town and the port is as everyone knows run down, and will suffer if the french withdraw their subsidy. Pity. Will have to go elsewhere for good food and wine. Easyjet and car hire seems on the cards. raymondo999
  • Score: 0

10:02am Thu 28 Mar 13

Old Ladys Gin says...

It is such an asset to the local economy on both sides of the channel.
To have to drive to the tunnel or use Dover to be able to enjoy the fantastic Saturday market in Dieppe will make it much less practical.
That market knocks into a cocked hat anything we have on this side for the quality and quantity of produce.
Dieppe is an historic town which still has industry and thrives.
You get a cheery welcome when you arrive not at all like the downtrodden HiViz miseries on this side.
It is one of the oldest cross channel routes and surely the responsibility of us as well as the French.
It is such an asset to the local economy on both sides of the channel. To have to drive to the tunnel or use Dover to be able to enjoy the fantastic Saturday market in Dieppe will make it much less practical. That market knocks into a cocked hat anything we have on this side for the quality and quantity of produce. Dieppe is an historic town which still has industry and thrives. You get a cheery welcome when you arrive not at all like the downtrodden HiViz miseries on this side. It is one of the oldest cross channel routes and surely the responsibility of us as well as the French. Old Ladys Gin
  • Score: 0

10:40am Thu 28 Mar 13

fredflintstone1 says...

HJarrs wrote:
We have been very lucky that for the last 6 years a French region has subsidised and invested substantial sums in Newhaven Port. If this had not been the case, the port would have gone the same way as Parker Pens.

It is scandelous that we are now so hands-off, once local authorities built, owned and ran many utilities and services including ferry services. Now, we would rather see the port and the surrounding businesses going to wrack and ruin than invest and make the port work. Sadly, we have had to rely upon the go-ahead French regional Seine Maritime for the continuation of this great Sussex asset.

Once the service is gone, it will not come back. I will be looking to book a trip in the summer to give them some business and use this ferry before it becomes something else to be read about in the Nostalgia section of the Argus.
Perhaps your Green colleagues would be better off investing in this then with neighbouring councils rather than squandering resources on the ridiculous biosphere bid?
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: We have been very lucky that for the last 6 years a French region has subsidised and invested substantial sums in Newhaven Port. If this had not been the case, the port would have gone the same way as Parker Pens. It is scandelous that we are now so hands-off, once local authorities built, owned and ran many utilities and services including ferry services. Now, we would rather see the port and the surrounding businesses going to wrack and ruin than invest and make the port work. Sadly, we have had to rely upon the go-ahead French regional Seine Maritime for the continuation of this great Sussex asset. Once the service is gone, it will not come back. I will be looking to book a trip in the summer to give them some business and use this ferry before it becomes something else to be read about in the Nostalgia section of the Argus.[/p][/quote]Perhaps your Green colleagues would be better off investing in this then with neighbouring councils rather than squandering resources on the ridiculous biosphere bid? fredflintstone1
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Thu 28 Mar 13

monkeymoo says...

Call the police.....

....The photo shows two people trespassing on the beach (village green!?) that has been closed to the public for many years!
Call the police..... ....The photo shows two people trespassing on the beach (village green!?) that has been closed to the public for many years! monkeymoo
  • Score: 0

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