Sunday, April 04, 2010

You Put Your Ferry In, Your Ferry Out, In, Out, In, Out, And Then Send It To Dover

Well I needn't have worried about all the roadworks on the Thanet Way holding up the hordes of happy Easter travellers heading for our lovely port to board the new superduperferry. It's currently operating out of Dover.

Apparently one of LD Lines' other vessels bust a bowsprit or something, so they've diverted the Ostend Spirit to the Dover Boulogne run. Just when you thought they might be making hay in Ramsgate, what with SeaFrance on strike and Operation Stack in place, they send it to Dover. Kuh!

It's unclear how long it'll be known as the Boulogne Spirit, but at least it demonstrates that, whatever the joint venture arrangements between LD and TransEuropa are, LD get first dibs. It's also left me wondering why more than half a mill of our taxpayers sovs were spent dredging the port for the Ostend Spirit when it's only managed a few trips out of Ramsgate. Rumour is that Thanet Council, who run the port, wanted some, er, financial reassurance from Eurof*****s before they lifted a finger (quite wisely in my opinion). But did they get any guarantees on the Ostend Spirit? Or have they reverted to their old bollock-dropping routine with this one?

Click here for Ostend Spirit's current position on marinetraffic.com
Click here for Dover movements on marinetraffic.com
Now you see it... Ostend Spirit in Ramsgate last week
(Photo: Ashley Baldry)


12 comments:

The Rock said...

Poor old TDC are dammed if they do and dammed if they don't it would seem. Accused of dropping a bollock for dredging Ramsgate Harbour for the new ferry they were earlier criticised for not doing so. Even Clive Hart would struggle to surpass this level of attack whatever they do. Maybe, just maybe, they might get something right if we supported them a bit more.

Richard Eastcliff said...

To be a bit more precise here, Mr Rock, it's the port that they have spent more than half a million dredging, not the harbour.

In true TDC fashion they have left the harbour to rot for a decade, with the result that the Yacht Harbour Association demoted Ramsgate Marina this year down to just two anchors.

Getting back to the money they spent on dredging the port, this was specifically for the Ostend Spirit. Which is currently not running out of the port, after managing only half a dozen or so crossings. Do you think that's good value for £500,000+? That's, what, 350+ Thanet homes' council tax? Although we know they only do any work down there when there's some juicy grant dangling, so maybe you're not bothered that it's just your other tax they're spending?

That said, I've already stated they were wise not to do business with Eurof*****s, or spend a penny with them before they had seen the colour of their money and/or fast ferry.

So actually it's currently more of a case of praised when they didn't, and queried when they do!

Anonymous said...

dave
why not ramsgate/boulogne

Anonymous said...

All now fixed, Ostend Spirit back in Ramsgate on Wednesday ......

Norman Arrow on its way back to Le Havre with a stop in Boulogne overnight.

Richard Eastcliff said...

Thanks for the update 3:50. I'll take my moaning hat off again.

Anonymous said...

It just shows the sense of having LD Lines involved as Ramsgate's leading ferry operator. At least they have served the public's interest at a difficult time for crossing the channel. Lesser companies may have struggled to keep a one ship service going. Maybe when the Ramsgate service gets busy, LD Lines will be flexible and lend extract capacity on this route.

Anonymous said...

Wait and watch - I still believe that this company will do more than the doubters, loyal to other established companies, presently give them credit for.

There was a problem caused by extreme weather conditions, they re-acted quickly and efficiently, I am impressed......

Anonymous said...

You may like to know that your favourite ferry company has moved a start date for reservations from the 12th to the 30th April......

Isabelle

Anonymous said...

travelled over on the charter ship on the Dover Boulougne run last week. They almost change the sailing times due to technical problems The ship is just not suited for the run only one ramp and no bow door everything has to turn around in the ship cars are stuffed right up in the bow to be blocked in by lorries which have to mainly disharge before the cars It by no way comes up to the standard of a cross channel ferry from the time of boarding it was over three hours before i disembarked althouth the sparce passenger area is quite comfortable it is not seperate from freight drivers It is ideal for where it came from a typical greek or spanish ferry jam it all onboard but not for the channel service With this ship on the dover run basicly a freight ship and the ostend spirit replacing the other freight ships at ramsgate it makes you think they are only interested in freight where the profit is and not a passenger service maybe thanet council have had the wool pulled over there eyes yet again with the promise of a wonderfull new passenger service is it a blinder to get in and all they want is freight guess we will have to wait and see .Certainly the dover boulogne experience is not a good one but that of course is only my opinion has anybody else travelled on this old ship?

Anonymous said...

09:57 don't worry dear, it appears that alls not rosy down at the port so expect a few leaving parties!!!

Perhaps the more knowledgeable 'the Rock' could explain about the arguments that are going on about the shore side facilities that are not in place yet.

As ferygin would say "you have to put in place a port-a-cabin or two"

Anonymous said...

Anon 5.22
What do you mean?Is it the port or the harbour??

Anonymous said...

12.48 you are quite right even Clive Hart known as "the man in a suit" who does'nt work and as a man of leisure is able to have more time to work out unpleasant things to say about Sandy E, who it seems he does'nt have the courage to meet and discuss political issues or indeed anything, still stick in there Clive you are a gift" to the Tory Group whilst you remain Leader