Six hundred jobs in Kent and Calais are at risk tonight after an appeal to save a cross-channel ferry service was rejected. Competition watchdogs have ruled that MyFerryLink - which is owned by Eurotunnel - breaks monopolies rules and could force competitors out of the market. The Dover-Calais service will now be put up for sale. Without a buyer, it must close within six months. Eurotunnel says the decision is "illogical" and "contrary to the interests of free trade". Andrea Thomas reports. She spoke to Carsten Jensen, Senior Vice-President of DFDS Seaways, Dover MP Charlie Elphicke, and business analyst Justin Urquhart-Stewart.
Following today's tribunal ruling, the Port of Dover said its priority was to ensure an effective ferry operation for customers.
Tim Waggott, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover said: "Our immediate thoughts are with those who are directly affected by this decision.
"The ruling comes at a time when Europe’s busiest ferry port has just achieved record freight volumes and so our priority is to ensure that our customers continue to be provided with a great level of service and choice.
"We will also work tirelessly on delivering our ongoing major investment plans to provide extra capacity and significant new job opportunities for local people.
"We will continue to consult regularly with all of our major ferry customers, and community groups, in the days and weeks ahead as we plan our way forward to future success.“
MyFerryLink said in a statement following today's ruling that it would continue to run cross-Channel services from Dover.
It said the company would renew its appeal before the Court of Appeal in the coming days.
In the meantime, services will continue to operate services between Dover and Calais.
An appeal against closure by MyFerryLink, the cross-channel ferry service operated by Eurotunnel, has been rejected by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
It was originally ordered to stop running in a ruling on June 6th, 2013.
MyFerryLink stemmed out of SeaFrance which went into liquidation in January 2012. Three of their ships were bought by Eurotunnel who set up MyFerryLink and a battle with the existing ferry operators ensued.
Those companies claimed it gave Eurotunnel dominance in the market but Eurotunnel insists MyFerryLink is a free-standing company that's totally separate from them.
The competition commission's now agreed with the traditional ferry operators so the MyFerryLink service will have to shut down.
Swanage Railway volunteers and staff are celebrating after their heritage line carried a record-breaking 216,267 passengers during 2014 - that's more than the combined populations of Bournemouth, Wimborne and Bridport.
And there is further cause for celebration because festive 'Santa Special' steam trains carried a record-breaking 9,205 passengers.
Families, fighting plans for a quarry near their homes in Oxfordshire, may be one step closer to victory.
Neighbours living in Clifton Hampden, Long Wittenham, Appleford and Culham have managed to get a section of the land declared as a site of national archaeological importance.
They're desperate to stop 160 acres of land bordering the Thames being used to dig for sand and gravel. Kate Bunkall reports.
MINI recorded record sales last year - up three point three per cent on 2013. Four out of five models produced at the car manufacturer's plant at Cowley in Oxford are exported to customers around the world. Four thousand people are employed there - with eight hundred in Swindon.
- More than 53,600 MINI vehicles were sold in the UK last year
- Fleet sales up 17 per cent with introduction of MINI 5-Door Hatch
- More than three million MINIs produced since 2001
The car transporter ship the ‘Hoegh Osaka’ remains grounded on the Bramble Bank in the Solent after running aground last night.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has said there is no reported pollution from the vessel which is listing at an angle of 45 degrees. The MCA's Counter Pollution Team will continue to monitor the vessel, which is currently assessed as being stable.
The Hoegh Osaka's owners have appointed the salvage company Svitzer to deal with the incident. A salvage team is on its way to make an initial assessment.
The salvage plans will be developed by Svitzer and then reviewed by the Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage & Intervention.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency says there is no impact on vessels travelling along the Solent because the vessel is not within a shipping channel.
Reading has recorded the second highest rise in house prices in the country. Prices in the town went up by 19 per cent in the last year according to a survey by the Nationwide Building Society. The average property in Reading now costs just over £318,000.
Passengers at Brighton railway station will be joined by a local MP on Monday. Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, says Britain’s railways should be returned to public hands.
She is taking part in a rally to oppose rises in fares - and drawing attention to the second reading of her Railways Bill on 9 January.
Caroline’s Bill calls for Britain’s rail franchises to be brought back into public ownership as they either fail or their contracts expire.