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Monday, 13 March, 2000, 18:05 GMT
Stranraer ferry service ends
Seacat
Seacat will use Stranraer only as a back-up
The regular Seacat ferry service from Stranraer to Northern Ireland ends on Monday.

The company is pulling out of the route to concentrate on its newer service from Troon to Belfast.

It says staff affected have been offered alternative jobs and that the port will continue to provide back-up to Seacat's other services.

Less than a month ago, another subsidiary of Sea Containers, the Argyll and Antrim Steam Packet company, announced it was withdrawing from the loss-making Campbeltown to Ballycastle route.

The decisions mean Sea Containers' Irish Sea operations will be concentrated solely on Troon in Ayrshire.

The company has said this is in response to positive feedback from passengers who want the shortest journey time between the main centres of population in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Dispute with council

A decision to withdraw from Stranraer was announced last week and ended a dispute with Dumfries and Galloway Council, which wanted a commitment to the town.

The local authority was unhappy when Seacat started the service from Troon and served a notice on the company to evict it from temporary premises it had occupied since it started in 1992.

Seacat said its Troon to Belfast route, introduced in April 1999, was so successful that it felt compelled to consolidate its services there.

Last year, the service from Troon carried 202,000 passengers and 44,000 vehicles.

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See also:

09 Mar 00 | Scotland
Seacat pulls out of Stranraer
07 Dec 99 | Scotland
Seacat terminal dispute inquiry
20 Jul 99 | The Company File
Eviction order over ferry dispute
21 Feb 00 | Scotland
Ferry service axed
23 Feb 00 | Scotland
Axed ferry 'badly promoted'
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