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Well... those huge lorry parks are for exports of course not imports. Its possible the French could decide to be vindictive and they might be needed. What they might do is have sudden "staff shortages" resulting in closure of some of the lanes at passport control.

 

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Sevington in Ashford. It's been under construction for about 4 month now, was farmland before.

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They're HMRC Customs lorry parks and for incoming traffic as I understand it. Surely now we've got a deal any lack of co-operation from them really wouldn't help them would it. 

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1 hour ago, Chillidoggy said:

Because it would just push up the price of goods as the transport firms passed the levy on.

£100 a lorry wouldn't amount to much of an increase

hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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9 minutes ago, pete said:

£100 a lorry wouldn't amount to much of an increase

The level of charge is immaterial because whatever happens it won’t be the foreign haulier soaking up the charge, just like any other business they will simply pass it on to the end-user to maintain their profitability. So we will end up paying it in the cost of the goods being transported. No doubt a reciprocal charge to UK hauliers would kick in, and we’re all back to square one.

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44 minutes ago, Bibs said:

They're HMRC Customs lorry parks and for incoming traffic as I understand it. Surely now we've got a deal any lack of co-operation from them really wouldn't help them would it. 

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if those parks are needed at some point in the not too distant future. For example, when the French fisherman kick off about losing their fish quotas.

1 minute ago, pete said:

UK haulers are already charged

And they pass that cost on to our foreign counterparts. 

Margate Exotics.

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Not sure how they'd park all their boats there, it's about 30 miles inland! 

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3 hours ago, Chillidoggy said:

The problem with this is one of distance and the high running costs of a ferry or ship. It's the reason why ferries run from Dover to Calais and not Dover to Zeebrugge or Ostend any more. It's also the reason the Dover - Boulogne route was dropped many years ago; the extra distance proved to be too expensive and not enough punters were willing to stump up the extra.

At one time, the road network from Calais up to Belgium and Holland and down the western coast of France was pretty crappy. Now it's very good, so there's no advantage to be gained by operating a ferry service to contend with the road network. Because lorries travel faster than ships, a lorry leaving northern Spain and travelling up through France and then onto a ferry to Dover will be much faster and cheaper than sticking it on a ferry from northern Spain, so that's unlikely to be cost-effective.

Any of the longer ferry routes tend to be used for freight that is less time-sensitive, or 'drops' (an HGV trailer without it's tractor unit).

Bottom line is that the cost of operating ferries on the longer sea routes would almost certainly have to be taxpayer-subsidised, and I can't see that happening. On the other hand, the introduction of 'Free Ports' is in my view, the way to go.

So your solution is that we remain at the mercy of the French ports and unions who show every year their utter contempt for us and their willingness to hold us to ransom with their blockades, go slows, etc? 

As I said, build British high speed ferries in Britain, use green hydrogen to power them and subsidise the ferry routes away from France.  It's not about being petty but it is about ensuring that we have a consistent and reliable supply chain. We don't have to do it overnight and in a rush, and there is nothing now stopping us from subsidising ferry routes as we could subsidise the ticket price and therefore it is an open and "free" subsidy for all so not anti-competitive.  If we have a viable alternative it will stop us from being held to ransom. Makes sense to me but I am not of the sea so could be wrong and misguided.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Bibs said:

Not sure how they'd park all their boats there, it's about 30 miles inland! 

They could use it to store the collection of inflatables

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39 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

So your solution is that we remain at the mercy of the French ports and unions who show every year their utter contempt for us and their willingness to hold us to ransom with their blockades, go slows, etc? 

 

 

You’re missing the point. I’m a former P&O Ferries employee (over 10 years of previous service) who is attempting to explain why ferry operations exist in their current format, and point out some of the major obstacles in changing them.

I’m not a believer in subsidies and most governments also find them unpalatable, so unless any proposed new ferry operation is a nationalised one, it’ll have to not only wipe its face, but turn a profit. If we want this U.K. back-up plan to combat French fisherman and the French ports, then due to the fact it’s cheaper to operate Dover - Calais, we’re going to have to pay for it to sit idle until it’s required which is a bit like doubling the size of the British Army in the hope that we will need it, and I’m not sure the finances stack up.

This might seem pessimistic, but I suspect what you’re proposing is unlikely to come to pass, but equally I’ll be delighted if it does, as long as it works. 

 

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2 hours ago, Bibs said:

They're HMRC Customs lorry parks and for incoming traffic as I understand it. Surely now we've got a deal any lack of co-operation from them really wouldn't help them would it. 

Very odd. I had assumed these were for outbound. What a waste then.

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Apologies, you're quite right...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-53568309

I assumed the govt would be more interested in ensuring it was collecting tax on incoming goods. Not sure over £700m is well spent to make sure lorries have the correct paperwork before leaving the country.

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@Chillidoggyas I said no expert am I. A national freight ferry service, running British built and crewed ships providing subsidised freight crossings and using green hydrogen to power the ships makes perfect sense to a landlubber like me.

I don't propose we only use them when the French ports close, but we use them as our preferred freight route. Go up as far North as Newcastle, Hull and Grimsby and we could take a lot of lorries off the M1, M25, M6 too reducing time on the road for goods (albeit counterbalanced with more time at sea).

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7 hours ago, pete said:

Instead of tax payer subsidised why not charge the foreign lorries to use our roads

There's a £10 a day charge for all HGVs (foreign registered included), and has been since 2014 - although the EU did threaten to take the UK to court because the UK charge was offset against the Road Tax, so was "unfair" to EU truckers.

Currently suspended until July 2021.

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4 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

They could use it to store the collection of inflatables

They'll turn it into a detention centre for asylum seekers......

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Dave.

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One thing for sure - the DVLA website to transfer a car hasn’t been working all over Xmas - and still isn’t.

bloody welsh 

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19 hours ago, C8RKH said:

As I said, build British high speed ferries in Britain, use green hydrogen to power them and subsidise the ferry routes away from France.  

Close by us in Norwich we have Great Yarmouth. They recently invested in a new outer harbor.

When I was a kid in the 80s the Norfolk line lorries would often been seen and as Ive been told by my Dutch relatives they linked Yarmouth and the Netherlands.

I dont understand why this is not happening again? Every time there is something upsetting the French Fishermen they seem to block ports with impunity.

The ability to go around them into the Netherlands I would think would be beneficial not only to us but to the Dutch who have always seemed to be friendly to us in my experience.

 

buddsy

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I think they went away from GtYarmouth as the roads infrastructure was dire, possibly better now with Norwich fully by passed but still you'd not want any haulage to rely on the Acle straight.

For the non-locals, the main road through Norfolk, the A47 has a section c14km of single carriageway, one lane each side, no additional space between lanes (so no room to overtake without first moving into the lane of potentially approaching traffic to look for said traffic), with deep dykes either side as it's through marshy river estuary). A great piece of engineering many years ago, but not updated (built 1831) to reflect the motor car's / lorry's take-over of transportation.

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3 minutes ago, andydclements said:

I think they went away from GtYarmouth as the roads infrastructure was dire, possibly better now with Norwich fully by passed but still you'd not want any haulage to rely on the Acle straight.

Yes its way past time it was dueled. 

Obviously this is one sticking point but if Yarmouth became a major sea port once more this would help the cost to build. One good thing is land isnt in short supply along the way.

 

buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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