I'm heartened by the decision to invest in the development and improvement of the Royal Harbour. I support the idea of moving the slipways from the Harbour to the Port which will help to increase both leisure and boat repair capacity. I am also very pleased about the plans to expand windfarm maintenance services at the port, - a sector of the economy which will be growing considerably over the next few years.
However, I’m disappointed by the Council’s delusional fixation about having ferry services operate from Ramsgate Port. The recent collapse of TransEuropa Ferries with a debt to the Council of £3.4 million, demonstrates that there is no real possibility of running a long-term sustainable ferry service from Ramsgate. The Plan totally fails to take account of competition from Dover.
In its 37 pages the report only mentions Dover 3 times. But less than 20 miles from Ramsgate this maritime colossus is currently undergoing £100 million improvements to the Eastern Dock to be followed by a £400 million investment in a new second ferry terminal which will effectively double its capacity. To seriously believe that ferry services from Ramsgate can compete against such a powerhouse is to live in a fool’s paradise. The Plan should be focusing instead on developing and expanding leisure use of the Port. Leisure use also has the advantage that people using he port and harbour will, unlike ferry passengers, go into town and spend their money which boosts the economy and creates jobs
I really hope that during discussions about this plan, common sense will prevail and the idea of operating ferry services will be dropped