Norwegian Seaways has three months to secure backing for its bid to restart ferry services between the UK and Scandinavia.
Also, new pictures from @GetPalmd’s coastal road trip from France to Spain. A blanket 19mph speed limit for Gent. The Mainz-Wiesbaden bridge will be back in action for Easter. Coach operators to hold Paris demo next week. MPs doubt Exit Check timetable.
THREE MONTH DEADLINE FOR FERRY TO NORWAY
Project Norse: start-up UK-Norway ferry operator enters final phase.
Hot on the heels on last week’s Budget announcement of £300k in marketing funds to support a ferry link between the UK and Scandinavia, Norwegian Seaways says it has recently secured investment from private backers.
Half a million pounds has been committed to the project so far with a do or die deadline of mid-June to complete the deal. The start-up previously said it would launch the service in March next year.
Norwegian Seaways operations director Paul Woodbury says, ‘I am pleased with the progress made in past weeks and welcome the recent commitment made by private investors; it represents commercial and fiscal belief in our plans.
The work being carried out over the next three months is of fundamental importance to refining our business case, and the support of stakeholders and authorities in this process is key.
I am confident that we have a sound strategy, professional partners and an exemplary team of professionals in place that will give ‘Project Norse’ its best possible chance of success.’
According to the ‘International Ferry to Norway Campaign’, progress so far has included identifying two suitable vessels – only one of which will be used on the service – while negotiations with potential ports and local and regional authorities continue.
The firm has also engaged a marketing agency to build a brand identity and test the business case.
Further updates are promised in April.
In the meantime, potential customers should fill in the survey on the Ferry to Norway website.
roundup: BELGIUM. As of 22 April, roads in Gent will be restricted to 30kmh (19mph) reports FlandersNews.be. The new speed limit will apply to all roads within the R40 ring road with the exception of the N430 and N422 according to local reports. GERMANY. The A643 Schiersteiner Bridge over the Rhine, the main thoroughfare between Mainz and Wiesbaden, will re-open for Easter reports ADAC. It closed suddenly on 10 February when serious structural defects were discovered. Major daily jams had been feared but in fact, apart from the odd occasion, traffic has flowed smoothly. FRANCE. Coach operators upset about the recent tripling of parking charges – to €96 per day – will hold an ‘operation escargot’ go-slow in Paris next Monday says the ORTE union. Vehicles assemble at Circuit Carole south of Charles de Gaulle airport early on then proceed slowly down the A1 to the peripherqiue then either Les Invalides or the Mairie de Paris city hall for 09:00. EXIT CHECKS. The UK MP’s Home Affairs Select Committee report on ‘The Work of the Immigration Directorates’, published yesterday, doubts whether Exit Checks can be in place by next month’s deadline. It says, ‘We do not see how the Government can fulfil its pledge to deliver 100% exit checks by 8 April 2015. To make it happen will require the Government conceding greater exemptions in addition to coachloads of under 16s. The Home Office must publish a definitive list of what is included in the scope of the programme by the time Parliament rises [27 March]’. Since the report was written it has emerged that Eurotunnel will only check 1 in 5 cars.