Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Euroferries service delayed there will be no sailing on Friday

I have just telephoned them, all customers that have booked in advance will be contacted and given a full refund.

While I have supported this venture and will continue to do so there is one aspect that I don’t understand and this concerns the Tax Free Shop in Ramsgate.

This is a quote from the Euroferries website: “After check-in, relax in our lounge and take some time to browse the tax free shopping and café before boarding for your destination.”

The Isle of Thanet Gazette has a picture of this shop in last week’s paper and the article says it has been refurbished.

Now my understanding is that tax free shops in UK Channel ports were banned by European Union legislation about 10 years ago.

15 comments:

  1. tickets available from the 17th at the moment

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  2. I nearly fell off my chair at this shock announcement (please note sarcasm!). As per usual, Ramsgate loses out, still at least our local MP didn't stake his reputation on this venture....oh hang on a minute...

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  3. ha "until futher notice, its beyound our control" EF press release on www.kentnews.co.uk.
    I just hope that anybody that has a ticket can be reached by email by EF otherwise tough!

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  4. Now hang on people, Euroferries have behaved properly with people’s bookings by ensuring that peple’s money is safe in any eventuality.

    This ferry service can only be of benefit both to Ramsgate’s and Thanet’s economy.

    Any port investment would only need to be very minor indeed.

    At the moment we have a port in Ramsgate and the benefits to local people are very minor, along comes an operator offering a service with potentially large benefits to our economy and it seems almost as though there are people who want it to fail.

    Why would this be, perhaps so they can say I told you so, not exactly a great motive is it?

    Of course it is difficult to set this up in the current economic climate and of course setting up a ferry service is liable to problems and delays.

    Frankly though, it is make your mind up time for local people and the council and by that I mean time to consider if there is any reason not to get one hundred percent behind this one and to do anything we can to help it along.

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  5. WELL SAID, Michael.

    This may not be the best organised venture but the alternative is NOTHING.

    Ramsgate needs to have the only high speed cross channel ferry service and we need to support it

    If you factor in delays at Eurotunnel, congestion at Dover and the advantages of landing at Boulogne this could potentially be the fastest driving route to Paris, Western France and the South

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  6. Michael I appreciate your point of view on this, but after 30 years experience of Ramsgate I am really not convinced of the value of ferry services to the long-term benefit of the economy. A couple of points:

    - the ferry terminal is not directly connected to the town. In effect the tunnel acts as a bypass.
    - Boulougne is simply not a desitination which will being incoming visitors in significant numbers.
    - as things stand, the vast majority of any employees created will be contracted from Spain (the ship's crew). Ramsgate doesn't need half a dozen people working check-in and in a duty paid shop. It needs employers create skilled jobs with career paths in the long term, as well as enough management and administrative posts to bring in people from outside the area

    While it is understandable that TDC looks to ahcieving what jobs it can in the short term,but the real task,as is the case in all deprived and less developed areas not just in the UK but worldwide, is education, training and raising skills levels to the point where people aren't relying on the Council to foster half a dozen jobs here and there, but are able to create their own opportunities and wealth.

    It's a 20-year task to raise these skill levels and try to break the cycle of low expectations and reseentment of success that poisons so much of Thanet. I'm not sure the Northdown Road shopkeepers club that TDC often resembles has the whit or generosity of spirit to see it.

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  7. I think rather than the Northdown Road club, it is the Sevenoaks and Maidstone officers club that causes all the problems.
    Staff that work for TDC should live in Thanet.

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  8. 14.15 I have to disagree with you regarding the ferry. I myself was first introduced to Ramsgate by catching the Sally line Ferry, now I live here.
    A port without ships is a forlorn place.

    With regard to long term jobs I agree these are needed but only by encouraging good links to the area will they be created.

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  9. I really want this ferry, I love Ramsgate and want it to thrive. Unfortunately, us residents keep being let down time and time again. Euroferries don't seem to have a clue what they're doing but, like you said, they're the only ones looking to do anything at all.

    Open up the old port road to the seafront (just not for lorries) and get the cars coming into Ramsgate.

    But, more than anything, get that goddamn ferry service going !!!!

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  10. 14.16 It has occurred to some of us running businesses in the town that not putting a sign at the top of the port access road pointing towards Ramsgate is a deliberate measure to ensure that we don’t get any benefit from the existing ferry service.

    In the 1960s and 70s my family ran a guest house in the town, much of our overnight business came from the hovercraft service, when the hovercraft service moved to Pegwell Bay the business continued.

    The same can be said for my bookshop and the Sally Line, I derived considerable business from both the UK nationals who came to the town for the service and Europeans that came here because of the service.

    In both cases the majority of the profit derived from this was spent by us in Thanet and mostly in Ramsgate.

    It is possible that you haven’t visited Ramsgate for some time, much of which seems to be thriving, new quality independent shops and restaurants have opened, there is plenty to attract the European tourist.

    I also can assure you that out of all of the French Channel port towns that one would want to visit Boulougne is the most pleasant and the most likely to attract day trippers.

    There is also the matter of the euro exchange rate to be considered something that rather acts in our favour at the moment.

    As far as the creation of long term jobs go I wonder about the way we approach this, the last one was China Gateway, after all this time I don’t believe it has even reached a point where a planning agreement has been signed.

    This could of course be something to do with the council bending over backwards to locate industry on our few remaining Greenfield sites, it is as though they have forgotten that modern successful business is going to very environmentally conscious and not want to be associated with bad publicity.

    Ross my understanding is that the ferry is ready, that work is underway in Boulougne, those achievements alone suggest that they do in fact know what they are doing, what I am becoming aware of is a defeatist attitude within the council, something that I can’t understand.

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  11. The shops in the terminal would be tax-paid - this is common(ish) practice with Fastcraft services as it means the operator can buy in bulk and sell it, without taking up extra space on the ship.

    True that having a service is better than no service - but all EF seem to be gathering at the moment is a bad reputation and taking money for bookings for a service that it seems at the moment they simply cannot supply. They don't seem to want to communicate openly to their customers, infact, the most public thing they seem to have done is to go around hurling legal threats (which don't even seem professionally worded) to those questioning them. I'd like to challenge EF to hold a public meeting or agree to answer questions on their 'service'.

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  12. According to information from UKBA there are currently no plans to deploy Customs or immigration staff at the port yet.

    The source also suggests that it is not possible to get this service running until the harbour is dredged, which has not happened and is unlikely to be a quick process.

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. 'Posting defamatory comments', 'caused damage to Euroferries', 'obviously untrue'.

    I'd be careful what you allege there about ECR and Adem, 12:02, or you and Michael might find yourself getting letters too. And it won't be from the director of a company that has clearly failed to provide its paying customers with a service it promised to deliver on 14 November.

    I note that the delay, according to the official press release from Euroferries, was due to 'hampered final stage operations', which has been taken to mean operational difficulties to do with their vessel and the berthing arrangements in Boulogne and Ramsgate, and nothing to do with local bloggers.

    I suggest you delete that comment, Michael (and this one too if you like) and instigate comment moderation. You have been warned.

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  15. 12:02 didnt seem to be alleging anything from what i could see from the 10 seconds it was left on- only stating the obvious - which is Euroferries would do wonders for Ramsgate and its economy and im sure people who post adverse comments on blogging sites dont help what im sure is an already hard enough situation to set the service up. I run a restaurant in Ramsgate and when someone writes a bad comment (whether true or untrue) i get a large drop in customers and that has extremely large effects!

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