Condor Ferries presses ahead with plans for new ferry, which could operate from Poole

SUPER-FERRY: Condor may make Poole the home of its new large ‘super-ferry’

SUPER-FERRY: Condor may make Poole the home of its new large ‘super-ferry’

First published in News by

THE chances of Condor Ferries running its new vessel from Poole appear to be increasing after the operator signed a fresh Channel Islands’ operating licence.

It paves the way for the firm to introduce a new super-ferry to replace its ageing vessels.

But, as previously reported, its current home at Weymouth cannot accommodate the larger and faster ferry that would be brought in and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council does not have the cash to make the necessary improvements.

That could open the door for a switch to Poole next year.

The Austal H270, a 102-metre trimaran capable of taking 245 cars and up to 1,165 passengers, is set to enter service next Easter.

The company will operate it as a single ferry operation on cross-Channel sailings, replacing Condor Vitesse and Condor Express which currently sail from Weymouth and Poole.

The signing of a 10-year operating agreement allowing Condor Ferries to continue to offer a passenger and freight link service between the UK, Channel Islands and France was announced by the Port of Jersey.

The agreement provides ‘future stability on the vital sea route’ and also enables Condor to make ‘significant investment’ into ferry services with the purchase of the £50m Austal.

Condor wants to continue sailing from Weymouth, but says the only suitable dock for the Austal is berth one near the Stone Pier. Upgrading it will cost the council £10m.

Council chiefs are to meet Condor Chief Executive James Fulford later this week for an update.

Management committee chairman Cllr Mike Byatt said: “The council’s position hasn’t changed in terms of the finances to do significant works to the harbour walls that Condor is suggesting.

“We will wait to see what the outcome is of the discussions we have with Condor.”

Leader of Borough of Poole, Cllr Elaine Atkinson, told the Daily Echo last night: “I am delighted that more business could be coming to Poole, but it will be a huge loss for Weymouth.

“Fortunately, in future plans which were made for Poole by Harbour Commissioners, we have got the facilities in the port to cater for these larger vessels, as well as potential suitability for small cruise ships to sail out of Poole.

“Thanks to strategic planning in Poole, we will be aiming to keep the service in our port.”

Mr Fulford has previously said that the firm has not ruled out making a contribution to berth upgrade works in Weymouth.

Comments (5)

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7:46am Mon 18 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

Now we have Barfleur running permanently from Poole after all the uncertainty about her, it would be great if Condor stayed in Poole, Poole would appreciate it for sure. Their decision though and it be respected whatever it is!!
Now we have Barfleur running permanently from Poole after all the uncertainty about her, it would be great if Condor stayed in Poole, Poole would appreciate it for sure. Their decision though and it be respected whatever it is!! FerryFan
  • Score: 6

8:17am Mon 18 Aug 14

Graham Rees says...

Having sailed frequently from Poole to Cherbourg and the Channel Islands via cat and ferry, it is a shame that the ferry can only steam at 10 knots until Studland. Takes a long time. But safety of other vessels of course, is paramount.
Having sailed frequently from Poole to Cherbourg and the Channel Islands via cat and ferry, it is a shame that the ferry can only steam at 10 knots until Studland. Takes a long time. But safety of other vessels of course, is paramount. Graham Rees
  • Score: 4

8:54am Mon 18 Aug 14

Townee says...

Graham Rees wrote:
Having sailed frequently from Poole to Cherbourg and the Channel Islands via cat and ferry, it is a shame that the ferry can only steam at 10 knots until Studland. Takes a long time. But safety of other vessels of course, is paramount.
The Sea cat's have the same problem. This is where the time for the trip increases and why it's faster traveling from Weymouth. Nothing can be done about the time it takes from Poole Dock to studland because of the slow speed limit.
I love travelling from Poole but it's so slow once past Studland.
[quote][p][bold]Graham Rees[/bold] wrote: Having sailed frequently from Poole to Cherbourg and the Channel Islands via cat and ferry, it is a shame that the ferry can only steam at 10 knots until Studland. Takes a long time. But safety of other vessels of course, is paramount.[/p][/quote]The Sea cat's have the same problem. This is where the time for the trip increases and why it's faster traveling from Weymouth. Nothing can be done about the time it takes from Poole Dock to studland because of the slow speed limit. I love travelling from Poole but it's so slow once past Studland. Townee
  • Score: 2

9:57am Mon 18 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

Gives you more time to admire the lovely view of Poole Harbour though doesn't it.!!!
Gives you more time to admire the lovely view of Poole Harbour though doesn't it.!!! FerryFan
  • Score: 7

10:11am Mon 18 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

And after all this if they do run from Poole, what with Brittany Ferries keeping Barfleur after these years of uncertainty, and Condor not sure which port they will run the new ship from, Condor finally plump for Poole, everything will be the same as it was before. Except Condor have a different vessel and Barfleur might look a bit different about the funnels!!

Found that thought amusing, although the uncertainty regarding both operators has been anything but!!
And after all this if they do run from Poole, what with Brittany Ferries keeping Barfleur after these years of uncertainty, and Condor not sure which port they will run the new ship from, Condor finally plump for Poole, everything will be the same as it was before. Except Condor have a different vessel and Barfleur might look a bit different about the funnels!! Found that thought amusing, although the uncertainty regarding both operators has been anything but!! FerryFan
  • Score: 0

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