Newhaven ferry service future guaranteed for another year

Newhaven Ferry, Seven Sisters
Newhaven Ferry, Seven Sisters

News the ferry service in Newhaven will continue for another year was welcomed this week in the town.

However campaigners said the real work was to ensure the line between Newhaven and Dieppe secured a more long term future.

The Syndical Mixte de Promotion de l’Activite Transmanch and DFDS Seaways said they were planning new timetables on the route in summer, which could make day trips to Dieppe possible again.

Newhaven MP Norman Baker said: “I have long been involved with ongoing discussions to look at ways to ensure the future of the Ferry Service between Newhaven and Dieppe, so I am pleased to see a reprieve for one year and I will now continue to engage with authorities to keep this for the future.

“I also welcome the news that they will use this year to look at new rotations of the service in high season, due to growing usage of the ferry link.

“Although this is a small win to maintain the service I shall continue to support Newhaven to have a longer committed delivery of this link.”

Newhaven Mayor Judith Ost said: “This is good news. The ferry is an important part of the Newhaven scene. “We will continue to work to help secure the long term future of the line.”

Lewes District Councillor Rod Main, who represents Newhaven, added: “At last they’ve managed to agree the one year extension.

“Even better news is that they will use both boats on the route again and, depending on timetables, this should make it possible to do day trips to Dieppe.

“However, this is only for one year. The real negotiations are going to have to start now to get the ferry service to continue beyond 2015.”

The two ferries the Seven Sisters and the Cote d’Albâtre, owned by the SMPAT, will be operated by DFDS Seaways France on the Dieppe to Newhaven line in 2015.

New rotations will also be tried in high season, in response to growing tourism and economic demands, recorded in recent years.

Nicolas Rouly, Chairman of SMPAT and the Seine-Maritime Department said: “2014 was a challenging year for all actors of the Channel, but it ends on a promising agreement, the first step in building a new future. “Our partners, public and private, have understood the high stakes that represents the Dieppe-Newhaven line.

“2015 will confirm the usefulness of the Channel on the tourist plan especially with the coming of the Tour de France in Normandy and the ownership of “The Avenue Verte” by increasingly tour operators.

But also on the economically plan with all the work lead by actors of logistics chains, automotive, wind energy, food, ...”