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New six-day per week ferry from Rosslare to France announced

A new six-day per week ferry service between Rosslare Europort and Dunkirk in northern France has been announced by logistics giant DFDS.

The new direct service is aimed at giving hauliers and the wider Irish industry sector a new option to replace the UK landbridge, post-Brexit, amid fears of hours-long delays on the landbridge once customs and other checks come into force in the new year.

Starting on 2 January, the new service will bring to 13 the number of direct sailings between Rosslare Europort and the European continent, each way, every week, during peak times of year.

"This is a hugely exciting development, not only for us in Rosslare Europort, but for Ireland as a whole, Irish industry, and the haulage sector", port general manager Glenn Carr said this morning.

Fears have been expressed by many in international trade recently about the effects which Brexit will have on Irish business, particularly because of anticipated lengthy delays in the UK because of the need to have customs checks for traffic travelling between that country and EU countries.

Irish hauliers currently complete tens of thousands of journeys across the landbridge and into the continent every year.

"We have engaged with Irish hauliers and their representatives, to understand their needs, particularly in the context of Brexit, and worked with shipping operators and ports in Europe to identify strong offerings for the sector," Mr Carr said.

Voyage time for the Rosslare-Dunkirk will be 24 hours which is longer than the sailings to other French ports such as Cherbourg or Roscoff, but will bring hauliers and other users within three hours of Paris and 20 minutes from the Belgian border.

 

"We welcome DFDS to Rosslare, and look forward to building an enduring partnership with them", Mr Carr said.

Other shipping operators already sailing from Rosslare to the continent are StenaLine, Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries.

There are currently three return sailings between Rosslare and France each week as well as three between Dublin and Cherbourg and three between Dublin and Rotterdam.

However, they all leave on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Other destinations from Rosslare include Bilbao in Spain and Roscoff in France.

"The new service, which will provide a crucial freight route, will also be very attractive for inbound and outbound tourism when Covid travel restrictions are eased", Mr Carr said.

This news comes after planning permission was granted for a €30m development at Rosslare, which includes a reconfiguration of the port along with new infrastructure and facilities, aimed at increasing the number of routes.

Other developments in the area include construction of a new N25 Rosslare Europort Access Road by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Wexford County Council, as well as a new business park by Dutch company XELLZ and a new border inspection post, which includes facilities for Customs, health and agriculture checks, designed for the post-Brexit business environment. 

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