Brittany Ferries says new EU ship fuel rules will increase its costs by 60% and passenger fares by 20%. The sulphur content is due to fall from 1% to 0.1% in 2015. The operator warns the change will hit services and jobs and calls for a five year delay. The UK govt – who lead on the upcoming International Maritime Organisation’s sulphur limit of 0.5% – says it is looking at ways to help. The previous shipping minister Mike Penning was very outspoken on the subject but was moved to the Northern Ireland office in the last reshuffle.
Bomb Hoax – A man got a six month prison sentence this week after a bomb hoax at Dover ferry port on 22 September. Despite a warning the 45 year old from Cardiff, bound for Amsterdam by coach, repeated his claim causing ‘lengthy’ delays while the vehicle was searched.
New Roads – A Swedish road engineer gives an insight into his country’s Vision Zero – ’no loss of life is acceptable’ – in an op-ed piece for the Times of Malta, and reveals high level discussions about new road building on the virtually rail free Mediterranean island. Sweden vies with the UK for the world‘s safest roads… Meanwhile, construction is well underway on the first 43km section of the eventual 670km motorway between Moscow and St Petersburg, due to open May 2014. Any delays will cost the contactor, dealing with -35° temperatures, £10m per day penalty for the first month rising to £20m thereafter. The toll road, built with private finance by a US-French-Russian consortium, is due to open for the World Cup in 2018.
Tyre labels – The advantages of the new EU tyre label are starting to sink in. While it provides justification for premium brands higher prices, it also makes it easier for economy brand buyers to see exactly what they get for their money. ‘It’s a game changer’ says one exec. Japan, Korea, Brazil and the US are all due to follow suit.
Finally, it is worth noting that while planes and trains were seriously delayed or cancelled in Wednesday’s pan-European strike, cars, drivers and ferries were all working well. Just saying. Also, if you haven’t seen the October issue of Continental Correspondent, our monthly digest magazine, click here. Thanks, have a great weekend.