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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 12:20 GMT
Hoverspeed 'ends Dover sailings'
Hoverspeed Sea Cat ferry
Hoverspeed employs 102 staff in Dover and about 60 more in Europe
Cross-Channel ferry operator Hoverspeed is to stop sailing from Dover on Monday despite having made no formal statement about the future of the route.

A passenger trying to book a sailing to Calais told BBC Radio Kent he was told all sailings would stop on 7 November.

A message on the company's website also states: "Hoverspeed will be ceasing operations after the last scheduled sailing on the 7th of November 2005".

It has been widely rumoured that the company would pull out of the town.

'Consultation period'

Dover MP Gwyn Prosser said at the weekend he and union officials expected an announcement from the company.

Hoverspeed runs two Seacat fast ferries between Dover and Calais, employing 102 staff in Kent and about 60 in Europe.

The company is owned by Sea Containers, which has said it wants to introduce "fundamental changes".

A 30-day consultation period with staff on both sides of the Channel began at the beginning of October and was to continue until the end of business on Monday.

On Tuesday a spokesman said no announcement could be made until that process was finished.

But he added that a statement was expected from Sea Containers within the next few days.

Hoverspeed normally shuts down for a two-month winter refit but usually not until Christmas. It usually begins services again in March.

Hoverspeed last week stopped taking phone bookings after 31 October.

Its website tells customers who want to travel after Monday to contact its UK call centre.

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