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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 19:58 GMT
Port to build four ferry berths
Dover docks
Plans for a lorry park at the port were announced last year
Four more ferry berths are being built at Dover harbour to increase the port's capacity by 50% as part of a master plan costing 200m.

Dover Harbour Board unveiled the 30-year plan on Thursday, saying it would create 3,500 jobs.

The berths will form the backbone of a new terminal at the Western Docks able to accommodate ocean-going liners.

Last year, the board unveiled plans for a lorry park for 1,500 trucks that will cost between 20m and 30m.

The lorry park plan is intended to end Operation Stack, where lorries have to wait on the M20 when port operations are delayed.

It is absolutely vital that we do this and create as many jobs as we can
Bob Goldfield

The Western Docks redevelopment is expected to bring an extra two million vehicles to the port every year, which will have to use the M20 and A20.

Leader of Dover District Council Paul Watkins said it had no difficulties with the harbour board's proposals.

"The issue is purely road infrastructure - it needs to be improved otherwise the local community will be strangled," he said.

The Western Docks were the port's busiest until the Eastern Docks were built in the 1950s to cater for the car ferry mass market.

Work on the new terminal is unlikely to start for at least three years, with planning permission needed to reroute the A20. It is likely to take 20 years to complete.

"In terms of the impact it will have on Dover and the UK economy it is absolutely vital that we do this and create as many jobs as we can in the process," said Dover Harbour Board chief executive Bob Goldfield.


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