Condor Commit To Long Term Channel Island Service
1:35pm 15th July 2014
(Updated 1:46pm 15th July 2014)
Condor, who operate cross channel ferries from Weymouth to the Channel Islands, have confirmed they will now apply for a long term licence for services to Guernsey and Jersey.
The new licensing arrangements mean Condor can buy its proposed new high speed ship, Austal 102.
In a statement, Condor says for more than a year, it has participated in discussions with the States regarding how future services should best meet the Islands' needs. With the States of Jersey and States of Guernsey having now reached agreement, the proposed new arrangements will see Condor make significant performance commitments to the Islands.
"The 102 will offer increased reliability, capacity and comfort," said CEO of Condor Ferries, James Fulford. "We have not asked our Islands, or anyone else, for a subsidy for this purchase. However, in order to make this significant investment, we have always said we need the certainty of a new operating licence. I am delighted that today, we are a step closer to achieving that certainty and investing in a new ship which will secure the future of high speed ferry services for our Islands."
But there's no guarantee the service will run from Weymouth, as a new or upgraded berth will be required, which could cost up to £ 10 million.
Earlier this year a delegation from the borough council, accompanied by South Dorset MP Richard Drax, tried to persuade the government to release a fund to help finance the work involved.