Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ostend Of An Era?

Effortlessly piloting my graceful Bentley Continental Flying Toss back to the Millionaires' Playground this afternoon, following a week at my Chelsea pad for the funeral of the century and a recording of the new series of Celebrity Nipples for Dave, I couldn't help but notice that our lovely TransEuropa Ferries in our lovely Royal Harbour/Port had been replaced by a floating hotel!

It got me to pondering what was going on with TransEuropa Ferries (TEF), as I rarely see the old tubs wending their way across to Belgium from my captain's lookout here at the cliff top mansion these days. So I emailed my old chums with the anoraks and binoculars on the other side of the briny, and this is their response:

You may well have noticed that Ramsgate port is 'ferryless' at the moment. Yesterday the Ostend Spirit (formerly the Pride of Calais) returned to their owners P&O for lay up at Tilbury. Strange that the Thanet press didn't pick up the story.

In short Transeuropa have some problems, and it seems that the owners the Dias brothers are wrapping up the company their father left them. They have sold two ferries that operated in the Med to Russian interests. The two ferries were moneymakers as they were chartered to the biggest Spanish ferry operator TRASMED for service between Spain and Morroco.

If TEF goes then at least 10 jobs will go directly with some indirectly such as security, cleaning and jobs at Orbit import-export, based at Ramsgate ferry port.

Blimey! Now, following a little, er, misunderstanding with Euroferries (Where are they now?! - Ed.) a few years back, I hasten to add that no-one is saying that TransEuropa have sunk. Let's be absolutely clear on that. But it does seem a little fishy! (Geddit??!!!!!???!!!??!!!!!!!!)

Especially as a visit to TEF's website is currently resulting in a big, fat empty load of white space.

Meanwhile I suppose we must welcome C-Bed to the Cannes of Kent. They provide floating hotels for windfarm workers, enabling them to be on the job 24/7. According to C-Bed's website, they use 'leather and other luxurious materials' to make sure their floatels 'are a place to unwind, sit back and get ready for the next day without worrying about cleaning, cooking, or getting to or from work'.

Fit for a millionaire, I'd say!

Click here for more on the current state of TEF in the Belgian newspaper De Tijd.
Update: The Gazunder has finally caught up with this story. Click here for more.

46 comments:

Barry James said...

Oh dear

Anonymous said...

Fortunately it's now easy to FLY to Europe from Thanet instead!

Anonymous said...

If TEF are pulling out, what plans do TDC have to replace the income? More live animal exports?

Anonymous said...

The airport is a drain on the public purse. The port provides an income and subsidises our council tax. I know which one I'd rather see thrive.

manofkent said...

In year 2011/12 the port costs £3 millions to run and income was £2 millions. (TDC statement of accounts.) The Royal Harbour makes up for the loss.

Anonymous said...

It may be easy to fly to Europe but nobody can afford it with the prices they are charging. The ferries are transportation for the plebs and without ferries the plebs will be forced to holiday in Margate. Hang on, isn't this good news then? I'll get my whelk stall out.

Anonymous said...

It used to be the case that TDC always wanted to report a loss for the port and harbour to avoid awkward questions from HMRC, KCC, HMG and the EU. I do not know if that still applies. It may well be making a genuine loss now, given that TEF have been dwindling down to nothing.

WaveRyder said...

This may be of interest, the article refers to a 'technical' difficulty and that services should be running as normal on Monday...

http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/TRAVEL-Transeuropa-ferries-cancel-services/story-18747460-detail/story.html#axzz2R2LALUWM

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Eurferries-speak.

Anonymous said...

And what about the TEF website being unavailable?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard Eastcliff said...

Apologies, but I had to delete that last comment on the insistence of my wolf pack of libel lawyers.

I have redacted it here:

The Port is only a few HGV lorries. The windfarm (now built) hardly created much profit - especially with a floating hotel reducing income for the town.

Expensive civil servants to just destroy the ferry service. Cheap ones could do that surely?

Manston has been subsidised through tax breaks/not reporting pollution. And still ---- ----.


Older readers may remember that it was those last two words that got me in trouble with Euroferries (Where are they now? - Ed.)

Manston is still a going concern, despite the fact that it loses something like £4m a year for its owners Infratil, despite the fact that it did indeed -- ---- in 2005 under its previous owners PlaneStation, and despite the fact that it is currently up for sale.

Here endeth the lesson.

Right. It's been an interesting night on the Croisette. Time to top it all off with a nightcap, methinks!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
manofkent said...

Do not click on the joker aboves link it could result in virus etc.

Richard Eastcliff said...

Flipping spam! Thanks for the warning MoK.

manofkent said...

ECR, are you telling me that Ramsgate looks like this

Richard Eastcliff said...

Yep! Especially when the Sov and the Royal are turning out at 2am!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Spammer has returned above ECR.

Biggles and guns

This cllr presumably learnt about guns when at Roehampton Institute studying English. A time, according to his CV, he was a Royal Marines Commando Reservist ?



Richard Eastcliff said...

Those pesky spammers.

Ah, Irritating Bloke! You keep coming back! A bit like herpes. And, er, me for that matter.

Nonetheless, your comments are always illuminating. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Any pictures of a by now empty ferryport?

Anonymous said...

Windfarms have brought zero income to the town.
Daytrippers from Belgium and France are the key for a bright future.

Anonymous said...

Not true. I was in a restaurant in Ramsgate the other day and there was a table of 30 courtesy of one of the windfarms

Anonymous said...

Fantastic. And the money spent in that restaurant gets spread around the town....unless, the restaurant owner spends it on his luxury pad in the Azores. Isn't it wonderful how economic theory doesn't match reality? (someone tell George) For example, Dover is the busiest port in the world and it's a complete dive.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

TEF THE END has come. TODAY!

Anonymous said...

Can they take manston with them? Another freight crate who uses Kents has ceased operations. ACG have had their licence revoked by German aviation authorities.

Let's face it - there is room for one ferry port in Kent, and that's Dover.

There is room for one airport in Kent, and that's gatwick.

manofkent said...

Anon 4.33, Gatwick is in Sussex. Kent's premier airport will be at Lydd.

Anonymous said...

TEF is NOT gone yet they are waiting for some dodgy money from Malta to get the clearance.

In meantime Ramsgate staff are getting paid to use the internet and get their facebook page updated...

Anonymous said...

Lydd will close as will Manston.

The windfarm has been built to negligible economic value.

ECR shows how Ramsgate's economy has been destroyed by The Duffers.

Ramsgate's £17M pa council tax given to Margate and bureaucrat salaries.

Anonymous said...

Man of Kent,

There's only two airports in Kent, and that's gatwick and stansted.

4.33pm

Anonymous said...

Man of Kent, there's Only room for 3 airports in Kent, and that's city, gatwick and stansted.

4.33pm

Anonymous said...

Man of Kent,

4 airports in Kent is enough. Heathrow, gatwick, city and stansted are as close to most of the population to render a couple of strips of Tarmac at Kents extremities redundant.

If kcc wanted an airport in Kent the masses might actually use they should have developed kings hill.

Then again, if a New Zealand company wants to bankroll millions each year to keep manston going, middle eastern businessmen pump cash into the marshes, and a Franco Dutch airline fly empty planes in and out, who are we simple Brits to argue?

They must know something we don't.

Anonymous said...

I heard the same story as 10.43. Something to do with money coming in from outside the EU, which means the line being fed to Thanet's press about 'technical problems' is a bit of a spin. The local papers are so under-resourced that they gobble anything up and regurgitate it without question. That doesn't mean that the line about waiting for money isn't spin too but only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

The something we don't 6:38 that they know and we don't with Manston etc is the KCC funding, lack of fines and no doubt not paying tax.

A semi-derelict airport with few jobs and polluting the public then makes sense. And a supine council of course covering it all up.

Anonymous said...

With transeuropa not operating at least my car roof won't be covered in sticky sooty crap

Anonymous said...

BBCTV News now reporting problems with TEF and one of ships repossesed(!) at Tilbury and staff not paid for 2 months, the other 2 berthed in Ostend.

Richard Eastcliff said...

Apparently the Slovenian crew of the Ostend Spirit haven't been paid since Christmas and are staging an old skool sit-in up at Tilbury!

Anonymous said...

Well I for one will breathe a huge sigh of relief when the airport, port, pleasurama site and any other silly plan to bring some economic prosperity to the area are given up.

We don't need jobs, shops or business blighting the local area.

Anonymous said...

I agree 1:34 in that these are silly plans that won't - and clearly haven't - delivered jobs. Our expensive councillors and civil servants have spent years on this silly schemes to no avail.

Meanwhile Dreamland is derelict.

Anonymous said...

What Ramsgate Port needs is a few flying boats.

Anonymous said...

Surely you mean flying pigs?! ;-)

Anonymous said...

There used to be flying pickets down the harbour in the 80s during the miners' strike. Does that help?

Anonymous said...

Sad news for the TEF staff in Ramsgate today.
TEF is no more, its official now.

Anonymous said...

Disappointing, but does end animal exports and a reason to review the port/marina and the council staffing/tax