Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

New ferry service to start early

Dover
LD Lines currently operates from Newhaven and Portsmouth

Two new ferry routes between France and Kent's main passenger port are to start in February, a company has announced.

LD Lines will begin the passenger and freight service from Dover to Boulogne on 12 February, five months early. The route to Dieppe will also be launched.

Initially there will be two daily return sailings to Boulogne and one to Dieppe from the former SpeedFerries berth at Dover's Eastern Docks.

A second ship will be added from 1 July to allow seven return crossings a day.

Crossing time

Seven Sisters and Cote d'Albatre, which currently operate between Newhaven to Dieppe under the Transmanche Ferries name, will be used on both routes.

The sister ships have capacity for 600 passengers and 300 cars or 52 freight vehicles.

The Boulogne route will take one hour and 45 minutes and the Dieppe service will have a crossing time of four hours and 15 minutes, a company spokesperson said.

The company currently operates ferry services to France from Portsmouth and Newhaven.

SpeedFerries stopped operating between Dover and Boulogne in November when its vessel was seized by customs officials and the company went into administration.

Earlier this month, South Thanet MP Stephen Ladyman revealed that another company was planning to start a fast ferry service between Ramsgate and Boulogne in March.

Euroferries hopes to offer a 75-minutes cross-Channel journey and express coach services linking the ferry to London via Ramsgate, Canterbury and the Medway towns.



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