‘Ferry to Norway’ Campaign Launched – Port Ebola Screening

A new campaign to support efforts to re-establish the ferry link between the UK and Scandinavia launches today.

Also, Ebola checks, or not, in Dover, Eurotunnel and Gothenburg. Legal challenges to Denmark’s new fixed-link fail. Off-roading at the Mercedes G-Class’ spiritual home. A new 9.4km tunnel for Norway (and another across the Russian border) plus a look at life in a Siberian city.

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‘FERRY TO NORWAY’ CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED

Collecting data and comments on proposed ferry service + new forum.

Bergen harbour: photo VisitBergen.com/Per Eike.

Bergen harbour: photo VisitBergen.com/Per Eike.

It is almost unbelievable that there is no ferry service between the UK and Scandinavia.

DFDS operated the final route, between Harwich and Esbjerg, in Denmark, for 140 years until the last boat sailed at the end of September.

The company cited declining freight volumes and new clean fuel rules due in January for the service’s demise.

Now a new campaign has stepped in to support efforts to re-establish the link.

The man behind the ‘Ferry to Norway’ website, Trevor Roberts from Rotherham, is currently playing his cards close to his chest.

However, the idea seems to be to collect information from prospective passengers about preferred routes and how much they will spend. As of Sunday 19 October there is also a forum.

Norwegian Seaways has been in talks for some time over a new route between Newcastle, Stavanger and Bergen.

There has been no firm news recently. Norwegian Seaways Operations director Paul Woodbury flew to Stavanger earlier this month for what he described as ‘a final effort to fund and re-establish a UK/Norway ferry link’.

In the meantime, new operator Regina Line announced in August it will take over the Harwich-Esbjerg route from Easter 2015.

Despite the advert on the homepage, @DriveEurope is not connected in any way with the Ferry to Norway website though we do urge readers to get involved.

Also see @FerrytoNorway on Twitter for more information.

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Buses in convoy in Norilsk by Russian/French photographer Elena Chernyshova. More later.

‘Days of Night – Nights of Day’: a really fantastic set of documentary photographs about life in Norilsk, north central Russia, by Elena Chernyshova. During snowstorms buses travel in convoys of up to 20 vehicles, around the city three times each day, so passengers can be evacuated to another in case of mishap or breakdown. Europe’s most northerly city, with 170,000 inhabitants, built by Gulag prisoners in the 1930s, sits on the world’s largest deposits of nickel and is the world’s seventh most polluted. Temperatures reach -55⁰C in winter and dark lasts two months. See elena-chernyshova.com.

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roundup: EBOLA. There are no current plans to screen passengers at Dover for Ebola symptoms but in a statement the port says it ‘will support whatever measures the government deems appropriate’. Eurotunnel has previously said it would not be screening passengers either. Meanwhile, Gothenburg in Sweden said today it will step up checks says thelocal.se. DENMARK. Complaints over the financing of the upcoming Fehmarn Link have been rejected by the European Commission reports Copenhagen Post. Ferry firm Scandlines, which operates the Rodby-Puttgarden route shadowed by the rail-road tunnel due to open in 2021, said the fixed link was in receipt of illegal state aid, and enjoyed preferential tax terms. Last week it was revealed Fehmarn’s construction contracts are in the final stages.

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Anywhere else there would be huge fanfare over the building of a 9.4km tunnel. It might even have a name. But the Norwegians are almost casual in announcing the new Aarus-Gvammen Tunnel on E134, the major east-west route between Haugesund and Drammen (Oslo). That said they are a bit excited about it costing NOK1.017 billion (£100m), ‘Telemark’s most expensive hole’. Work starts at the end of November. By contrast, the 690m Trifon Tunnel to be built across the Russian border near Kirkenes will cost a trifling NOK270m. Cross-border travellers have increased by 300% in the past five years according to the Barents Observer. The Russians have already upgraded the E105/A138 road to Murmansk via Zapolyarny. The crossing points themselves will be rebuilt next year. The tunnel opens in autumn 2016.

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Mercedes’ cult G-Class off-roader tackles the private Schockl test track near Graz in south east Austria (owned by production-partner Magna Steyr). The G-Class was originally developed at Schockl in the mid-1970s. Okay it’s an advert – Schockl is only open to paying customers on Mercedes’ Off-Road Driving Experiences – but at 5.6km, with 54% lateral tilts, 60% gradients and views over Graz into Hungary, it’s one for the list, even at €1095 for three days.

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