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.
Red Funnel's Red Falcon ship is due to re-launch today after a £2 million refurbishment. There's a new sun deck, lounges and more information screens on board. Internal seating has increased by 55%.
Hovertravel says a normal service has resumed between Ryde and Southsea following earlier adverse weather conditions.
A huge increase in cross-Channel ferry fares is being predicted if the operators have to switch to more environmentally-friendly fuels in two years time. They claim their costs will increase by up to 80 per cent and that will have a knock-on effect for passengers.
Environmentalists say the industry has a duty to reduce the pollution ferries pump out. David Johns reports, talking to MP Caroline Lucas, Dave Balston from the UK Chamber of Shipping, Carsten Jensen of DFDS Seaways, and MEP Keith Taylor.
Delays of an hour and a half on DFDS Seaways between Dover and Calais due to earlier industrial action at Calais.
Delays of up to one hour on P and O Ferries between Dover and Calais due to earlier adverse weather conditions. Passengers should check in for their booked sailing at the normal time.