Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ferry axing sparks visitor worries

LIBERAL Democrats in Blaydon constituency are to write to ferry operator DFDS to ask them to think again about axing the North East route to Norway.

On 1st September, the MS Queen of Scandinavia will cease operating between the Tyne and Stavanger, Haugesund and Bergen. The loss of the route will lead to the loss of 300 jobs in Denmark and the UK.

Councillor Peter Maughan, Parliamentary Spokesman for Blaydon, said, “The ferry routes to Scandinavia are important for the North East’s tourism industry.

“Many Scandinavians, and especially Norwegians, visit the Metrocentre as well as our main tourist centres. Many jobs therefore indirectly depend on the North Sea routes continuing to operate.

“I appreciate that the Queen of Scandinavia service has been loss making since DFDS took over from Fjordline in 2006. Nevertheless, I am hoping that the company can at least run a reduced service.

“I am therefore writing to the company to ask them to consider other ways of keeping the service partly going.

“At a time when the economy is slowing down, we need to fight hard to keep our businesses and job prospects afloat.”

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