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Saturday, 5 October, 2002, 08:30 GMT 09:30 UK
Freight boost for ferry link
Rosyth ferry
The ferry has already proven popular with tourists
The amount of freight traffic using Scotland's first ferry link with mainland Europe is increasing.

The operator of the service between Rosyth and Zeebrugge said it was encouraged by the rise.

Superfast Ferries released the figures only weeks after an event aimed at encouraging more hauliers to use the link.

Superfast ferry brochure
Ferries sail from Scotland to Belgium daily
The Road Haulage Association in Scotland warned companies in August that they had to use the service or run the risk of losing it.

Superfast, a Greek shipping company, started the 17-hour overnight sailings between Scotland and Belgium in May.

The North Sea route quickly proved popular with tourists and has already been used by more than 90,000 passengers.

However, its long term prospects are closely linked to steady freight business.

Superfast's latest figures suggest that cargo traffic has increased substantially and that several extra hauliers have begun using the link.

Promote service

A spokesman for Superfast said executives were confident that the service would get the sustained support it needed.

The Road Haulage Association hosted a lunch on board the ferry in August to promote the service to its members.

It warned that the European Working Time Directive, which will tighten up the rules for drivers by 2005, will make it difficult for them to keep to their hours if they have to drive to English ports.

Regional director Phil Flanders said the link will be vital in three years time, so it was important for drivers to support it now.

See also:

15 Aug 02 | Scotland
17 May 02 | Scotland
16 May 02 | Scotland
27 Mar 02 | Scotland
11 May 01 | Scotland
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