Concerns over the safety of the ferry berth at Weymouth have led Condor Ferries to move sailings to Poole from this weekend.

Condor Ferries has announced the move along the coast as a short-term measure while detailed investigations are undertaken into the “structural integrity” of the ferry berth.

Both the ferry company and Weymouth Harbour raised concerns earlier this week and following initial investigations by the port engineer it has been decided to temporarily cease using the berth.

Condor Ferries is contacting affected passengers and, where necessary, helping them change their travel plans.

“The safety of our passengers and crew is always our highest priority and we have taken this step to help sustain our lifeline ferry services between the Channel Islands and the UK,” said Captain Fran Collins, operations director of Condor Ferries.

“We are working closely with Weymouth Harbour to understand the extent of this issue and are in close co-operation with Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) to make sure the change of port goes as smoothly as possible,” she said.

Jim Stewart, chief executive of PHC said they welcomed the extra sailings, which start on Friday, will run on Sunday and Monday and be reviewed next week.

“We don’t have a Condor sailing at the moment and this is good news for Poole,” he said.

“It is positive that we are able to step in and provide the necessary facilities.”

Following the loss of Brittany Ferries’ Barfleur passenger service to Cherbourg this year, Condor Ferries has reaffirmed its commitment to Poole and supporting the historic links to Western France.

During July and August there will be daily sailings from the French port of St Malo to Poole – via the Channel Islands – and in addition Condor Express will operate a daily Poole to Cherbourg service in partnership with Brittany Ferries, as well as more fast services from Poole to the Channel Islands.

“We have worked hard to ensure that our 2012 summer schedule allows our passengers even greater freedom when it comes to sailing times for trips to and from France and the Channel Islands this year,” said Alicia Andrews, sales and marketing director of Poole-based Condor Ferries.

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