Passenger complaints over the lack of a ferry route between the UK and Scandinavia mar the DFDS 150 anniversary record attempt – as the firm reveals huge growth between Dover, Calais and Dunkirk.
Also, Rallye Deutschland’s wildly popular Panzerplatte. Tourist faces child negligence charge after leaving baby in car in Spain. Bad weekend weather on the Channel. New electric car fast chargers open on major Portugal routes.
SCANDINAVIA ROUTE LACK MARS DFDS LARGEST LEGO SHIP
World record model reveal swamped with passenger complaints.
The reveal of the DFDS ‘World’s Largest Lego Ship’ yesterday was marred by customer complaints over the lack of a ferry route between the UK and Scandinavia.
At 12.035 metres long and 1.67 metres wide, ‘Jubilee Seaways’ – built to celebrate the firm’s 150 anniversary celebrations this year – was confirmed as largest by Guinness Book of World Records.
But Facebook followers were more interested in a Scandinavia ferry route.
DFDS closed its Harwich-Esbjerg line in September 2014, and with it the last scheduled ferry route between the UK and Scandinavia.
Dave Scullion said, ‘Lego is something you should be giving our children and grandchildren to play with on a nice leisurely voyage to Denmark. Instead they now have to suffer hours of being cooped up in the car on the long drive from Holland.
Kirsten Pallesen said, ‘We could use a good service to Scandinavia, a lot more useful than a Lego ship ….. better you have spent money on that than all those Lego bricks!’
Kristin Sorensen said, ‘Yes we need a route to Scandinavia, please consider reopening Esbjerg to Harwich.’
Gavin McCormick said, ‘Shame it wasn’t a descent route to Scandinavia…’
To each comment the firm replied, ‘We have no plans to reinstate a Scandinavian route unfortunately.’
Meanwhile, DFDS today unveiled a stonking set of financial results, particularly on the English Channel.
Freight volumes were up 63 percent in Q2, April to June 2016, while passenger numbers increased by 23% between Dover, Dunkirk and Calais.
This is mainly down to a 70 percent increase in volume on the routes with the addition of two new ships in the spring.
But it will also be at least partly due to the controversial closure of fellow Dover-Calais operator MyFerryLink on 1 July last year.
Only during Q4 will it be clear how well the firm is really doing on the route on a like for like basis.
Overall it seems DFDS is fighting fit. Revenues were up 7 percent in Q2, and profit by 39 percent – to DKK443 million (£51.2 million). Return on capital increased to a healthy 16.4 percent.
roundup: SPAIN. A German driver who left his nine month old son in the car while he nipped into a supermarket now faces a charge of child negligence. A concerned passer-by alerted Guardia Civil after spotting the child strapped into the back seat of the car in Alicante reports The Local Spain. Police smashed the window and administered first aid though the baby made a full recovery. CROSSING THE CHANNEL. Weekend ferry services are expected to be disrupted by bad weather. Both Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries have alerted customers to potential delays while Dover, Calais and Dunkirk crossings from P&O and DFDS are also likely to be affected. PORTUGAL. New fast-chargers opened on the A2 this week mean it will be possible for electric cars to drive between the capital Lisbon and the Algarve for the first time. Three rapid chargers have opened on the north-south A2 – at Galp filling stations – plus two more on the east-west A22 in the south says The Portugal News. The government is pledged to open fifty EV fast chargers by the end of the year.