Eurotunnel legal threat over ferry line’s subsidy

Eurotunnel legal threat over ferry line’s subsidy

Eurotunnel legal threat over ferry line’s subsidy

First published in News

Channel Tunnel operators could launch a legal complaint under anti-competition laws if the Newhaven-to-Dieppe ferry line continues to be subsidised.

The Transmanche ferry route is currently run by DFDS Seaways but its contract expires next year.

With no new operator yet to come forward, Eurotunnel, which runs the rail link between Kent and France, said it would complain to Brussels bureaucrats if the Newhaven link continues to be significantly propped up by public funds.

It comes as local authority leaders in Sussex are still looking at ways to keep alive the line, which is currently subsidised by the French government, and to save about 500 UK jobs.

A spokesman for Eurotunnel confirmed that the firm had launched a legal complaint previously about the Newhaven route, which is believed to have cost French taxpayers £190 million over the last ten years.

He added: “As far as I’m aware, the contract is still open to tender.

“But if there’s a significant subsidy then we would maintain the same position that if a service is subsidised by local authorities it’s an unfair position of competition against those privately-owned or market-constrained firms.”

The General Council of Seine-Maritime (CGSM), which subsidises the link, is looking for new investors.

When the announcement was made, Nicolas Rouly, president of the CGSM, said: “I wonder about the relevance of a link that depends solely on public funds.This is a potentially difficult decision to take to stop the line. But we have spent £190 million of public money in ten years.”

Speaking at a meeting of the Greater Brighton Economic Board last week, Rob Blackman, leader of Lewes District Council, said: “The French are in a bit of flux at the moment, still insisting that we part-fund the ferry.

“East Sussex [County Council] is unclear and are going to review it.

“The Channel Tunnel lodged a complaint under anti-competitive practices so it’s quite unlikely we’re able to support a ferry itself.”

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:11am Wed 28 May 14

John Steed says...

let us remember that the channel crossing remains the most expensive cost per mile ferry journey in the world. In eurotunnels world, buns on seats or rather cars in wagons is not part of there business plan, plus sour grapes over the on going seafrance debacle
let us remember that the channel crossing remains the most expensive cost per mile ferry journey in the world. In eurotunnels world, buns on seats or rather cars in wagons is not part of there business plan, plus sour grapes over the on going seafrance debacle John Steed
  • Score: -1

7:25am Wed 28 May 14

We love Red Billy says...

The most expensive UK sea trip, mile for mile is Portsmouth to the IOW.Proportionally more costly than Concorde New York.
The most expensive UK sea trip, mile for mile is Portsmouth to the IOW.Proportionally more costly than Concorde New York. We love Red Billy
  • Score: 8

11:39am Wed 28 May 14

Notters_Seagull says...

What utter bastards. Time to boycott Eurotunnel.
What utter bastards. Time to boycott Eurotunnel. Notters_Seagull
  • Score: 3

11:42am Wed 28 May 14

Notters_Seagull says...

“I wonder about the relevance of a link that depends solely on public funds". Tell that to the people of the Scottish Isles. Transport should be a public service, not a profit making enterprise.
“I wonder about the relevance of a link that depends solely on public funds". Tell that to the people of the Scottish Isles. Transport should be a public service, not a profit making enterprise. Notters_Seagull
  • Score: 4

12:15pm Wed 28 May 14

twosugars says...

I seem to recall the channel tunnel construction was partly funded from the public purse.

Pot. Kettle.
I seem to recall the channel tunnel construction was partly funded from the public purse. Pot. Kettle. twosugars
  • Score: 5

2:43pm Wed 28 May 14

Mr chock says...

twosugars wrote:
I seem to recall the channel tunnel construction was partly funded from the public purse.

Pot. Kettle.
can you please please look in to your facts ? i am sure i am right it did not have any funding from the government it was i think The British Channel Tunnel Group consisted of two banks and five construction companies, while their French counterparts, France–Manche, consisted of three banks and five construction companies. and SHAREHOLDERS..
http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Eurotunnel

currently yes by a stealthy move the government now holds a small stake in the operator and is making money .. so please please try and be correct .. the Tunnel shares not government .
[quote][p][bold]twosugars[/bold] wrote: I seem to recall the channel tunnel construction was partly funded from the public purse. Pot. Kettle.[/p][/quote]can you please please look in to your facts ? i am sure i am right it did not have any funding from the government it was i think The British Channel Tunnel Group consisted of two banks and five construction companies, while their French counterparts, France–Manche, consisted of three banks and five construction companies. and SHAREHOLDERS.. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Eurotunnel currently yes by a stealthy move the government now holds a small stake in the operator and is making money .. so please please try and be correct .. the Tunnel shares not government . Mr chock
  • Score: -1

6:38pm Wed 28 May 14

Hove Actually says...

John Steed wrote:
let us remember that the channel crossing remains the most expensive cost per mile ferry journey in the world. In eurotunnels world, buns on seats or rather cars in wagons is not part of there business plan, plus sour grapes over the on going seafrance debacle
WRONG WRONG WRONG
The Isle of Wight ferry is more expensive than the Panama Canal
the Euro Sewer is miles down the list
[quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: let us remember that the channel crossing remains the most expensive cost per mile ferry journey in the world. In eurotunnels world, buns on seats or rather cars in wagons is not part of there business plan, plus sour grapes over the on going seafrance debacle[/p][/quote]WRONG WRONG WRONG The Isle of Wight ferry is more expensive than the Panama Canal the Euro Sewer is miles down the list Hove Actually
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree