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  1. ITV Report

South's cruise ports threatened

Ocean Countess docks in Liverpool Photo: ITV

Cruise liner ports in the South have raised concerns about the sailing later today of Liverpool's first ever turn around cruise. The row has been sparked by a dispute over private vs public funding and claims of unfair competition.

Southampton had said it was unfair for Liverpool to use public money to compete in the cruise liner market. Liverpool terminal managers have said they will repay some of the public grants awarded to build their site. Until now liners have visited Liverpool, but not started or ended journeys there.

Last week the Transport Minister Mike Penning said he had had to make an independent decision following an independent review, and that the move to allow Liverpool to grow its cruise market would bring in competition, and perhaps that would bring lower prices for consumers.