Date: 01 Jun 2009 00:00Source: Westerntelegraph.co.uk
A ferry service which could take cargo and passengers directly from Pembrokeshire to the north coast of Spain is now under discussion and could be up and running as early as next year.
The possible link between Pembroke Dock and the city of Ferrol, in north western Spain, is still in its early stages, but could give huge advantages to haulage companies if it goes ahead.
Unfortunately for potential day trippers, the ferry service being discussed by the Milford Haven Port Authority (MHPA) and port bosses at Ferrol would only have room for about 10 to 12 passengers.
The main focus would be on transporting freight, unaccompanied by drivers, which would be dropped off at the ferry in Pembroke Dock and picked up at the other side.
“The benefit would be that you don’t have a lorry driving right across England, France and Spain.
“Companies can save on the environmental impact and on the roads and costs of drivers,” said MHPA commercial director Joe Besch.
Research has already shown that there are between 90 to 100,000 potential truck loads which could use the service, with around 16,000 units needed to make the route viable.
Mr Besch said: “The more people we can get the better, because you are increasing the utilisation of the ferry terminal at Pembroke Dock and we also have a twice daily service with Ireland and this would allow for Irish cargo to come from Ireland and send cargo directly over to Spain.
“We have spoken to ship owners and ferry companies, the next stage is to do more market research and find out who the companies are who could use the service.”
Leading ferry ticket aggregator Direct Ferries has launched a new ferry booking system for travel agents allowing them to make reservations and manage bookings across a vast route network on behalf of their customers.