Page last updated at 18:49 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Axed ferry service threatens Poole port jobs

The Barfleur ferry
The Barfleur cross-Channel ferry had been operating for the past 17 years

Up to 40 jobs are under threat at a Dorset port following the withdrawal of a cross-Channel ferry service.

The Barfleur ferry from Poole to Cherbourg in France was taken out of service last month after 17 years.

Brittany Ferries said the route had been losing money since 2003 and it had no option but to stop sailings.

Poole Harbour Commissioners has started a 30-day consultation with staff over the planned job cuts. The Unite union is also holding talks with its members.

Brittany Ferries said in January that despite the axing of the Barfleur it was increasing the number of departures from Poole to Cherbourg using freight ships.

The firm also said the high-speed Normandie Vitesse ferry to Cherbourg had "done very well" compared to the Barfleur since its launch in 1998 and would continue.

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