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Ferry crossings to town’s port are scuppered by Brexit vote

PUBLISHED: 08:10 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:48 16 February 2018

Eye in the Sky 0209 - view of Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour and Gorleston Coastwatch from Gorleston side

Eye in the Sky 0209 - view of Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour and Gorleston Coastwatch from Gorleston side

Jack Locke

A company which announced a ferry service between Great Yarmouth and Holland has postponed the plan due to fears over Brexit.

Seamax Ferries had hoped to launch daily ferries carrying up 100 cars and 100 trailers between Ijmuiden and Yarmouth’s port operated by Peel Ports from this spring.

This week the Dutch firm’s website suddenly changed from advertising the service and ferry timings, instead replacing it with a message saying because of the “uncertainty” over the consequences of the Brexit vote and process the service was postponed.

The ambition to have ferries travel between the resort and Ijmuiden stretches back to 2001, when the port’s former operator, EastPort, was in control.

MORE; cruise ships head to Great Yarmouth

A spokesman for present operators Peel Ports confirmed it was in talks with Seamax Ferries but would not discuss why the ferries had been postponed.

They said: “We can confirm we have received an enquiry regarding running a ferry from Peel Ports Great Yarmouth but at this stage nothing is confirmed.”

Seamax Ferries was contacted several times by this newspaper to make a comment but no reply was forthcoming.

However, its website, which shows a ferry being constructed for the crossings, says it will provide updates on the ferries, if they go ahead.

MORE; ferry plan may be scuppered

In November 2001, the port of IJmuiden and EastPort formed an European Economic Interest Grouping to promote new ferry services and develop what was called Trans-European Network links through the ports.

The proposed ferry route was said to be ideally suited to exploit the strong demand for business, short breaks and holiday travel between Amsterdam and the UK.

County Cllr Mick Castle, who had also been following Seamax’s progress and website was disappointed.

MORE; no ferries are coming

He said: “I suppose I’m not surprised - with Brexit I don’t suppose any of our European near-neighbours know what we want. Obviously when trade with Europe was increasing year by year a ferry link with Ijmuiden was very much an option. They built their new harbour just before ours.”

In the Brexit vote in 2016, 72pc of people who took part in the vote in the borough voted to leave the EU.

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