NEWS: MyFerryLink has been barred from operating on the Dover-Calais route, again. An exhibition of the Pole of Cold expedition is on display at the Royal Geographical Society this week. Luxembourg and German police start a cross border speeding campaign tomorrow while Austria Fernpass is closed for resurfacing, and some of Italy’s major mountain roads will close this week and next for the Giro d’Italia.
GIBRALTAR QUEUE WATCH: delays built to 1h30 by lunchtime, dipped in the afternoon, then reached two hours in the evening.
MYFERRYLINK TO APPEAL LATEST COMPETITION RULING
Ferries barred from Dover-Calais; not allowed to operate independently of Eurotunnel
The original Competition Commission decision that barred the Eurotunnel-owned MyFerryLink ferries from the Dover-Calais route has been confirmed – yet again – but the saga looks set to continue for a while yet.
MyFerryLink managing director Robin Wilkins told Dover Express this morning, ‘I think this was entirely expected. It’s not 100 per cent confirmed yet but we obviously will appeal if it is.’
Announcing its provisional findings in a statement earlier today, the Competition and Markets Authority said, ‘MyFerryLink is making losses and being funded by Eurotunnel. This is causing the current level of competition on the Dover–Calais route to be unsustainable and is likely to lead to the exit of a competitor.
‘The interest of cross-Channel customers, both passengers and freight, will not be well served if Eurotunnel ends up as one of only two ferry operators in addition to owning the competing rail link.’
Meanwhile, Eurotunnel – who had said any further confirmation of the CC’s findings would see the fixed link operator bow out of the situation – called the CMA’s market analysis ‘erroneous’.
The fixed link operator had attempted to argue that the market had grown much more than anticipated to the point that a fresh enquiry was needed. While acknowledging that the market had grown, the CMA said that ‘at least’ two operators were still making ‘substantial losses’.
The CMA also provisionally rejected an alternative proposal from MyFerryLink to operate the service independently from Eurotunnel. It said this would require substantial new financing which would be subject to too much uncertainty and delay to be an effective solution.
Under an earlier ruling from the French competition authorities Eurotunnel is anyway barred from selling the vessels until 2017.
A final decision is expected next month. If confirmed, and absent any appeals, the implementation of the ban would be deferred for six months.
roundup: LUXEMBOURG/GERMANY. The two police forces carry out a combined cross-border anti-speeding campaign Wednesday and Thursday (21-22 May). Meanwhile, the very first fixed speed cameras will make their debut in Luxembourg’s accident hotspots in the middle of this year. The country has seen two successive years of rises in fatal road accidents. The locations of mobile radar traps are published here daily. AUSTRIA. The scenic B179 Fernpass between Reutte and Fussen across the German-Austria border, past the fairy tale Neuschwanstein Castle, is shut all day tomorrow, Wednesday 21 May, for resurfacing. Cars can detour via Garmisch but trucks over 7.5t will have to cross via the A14 and S16 at Bregenz. ITALY. Meanwhile the Giro d’Italia cycle race finishes in Trieste on 1 June. See the full road closures here but Stelvio and Gavia Passes will be closed Tuesday 27 May and San Pellegrino on Thursday 29 May.