Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ramsgate Maritime MasterPlan

The Ramsgate Maritime Plan will be discussed by Thanet Council's Cabinet on 14 November. You can access the report  here

I'm  heartened by the decision to invest in the development and improvement  of the Royal Harbour. I support the idea of  moving the slipways from the Harbour to the Port which will help to increase  both  leisure and boat repair capacity.  I am also very pleased about the plans to expand  windfarm maintenance services at the port, - a sector of the economy which will be growing considerably over the next few years.
However, I’m disappointed by the Council’s delusional fixation about having ferry services operate from Ramsgate Port. The recent collapse of TransEuropa Ferries with a debt to the Council of £3.4 million, demonstrates that there is no real  possibility of running  a long-term sustainable ferry service  from Ramsgate. The Plan totally fails to take account of competition from Dover.
In its 37 pages the report only mentions Dover 3 times. But less than 20 miles from Ramsgate this  maritime colossus is currently undergoing £100 million improvements to the Eastern Dock to be followed  by a £400 million investment in a new  second ferry terminal which will effectively double its capacity. To seriously believe that ferry services from Ramsgate can compete against such a powerhouse is to live in a fool’s paradise. The Plan should be focusing instead on developing and expanding  leisure use of  the Port. Leisure use also has the advantage that people using he port and harbour will, unlike ferry passengers, go into town and spend their money which boosts the economy and creates jobs
I really hope that during discussions about this plan, common sense will prevail and the idea of operating ferry services will be dropped



  1. Worse than that, Ian, the plans suggest that they want it to be a container roll-on-roll-off facilities along with a strategic rail freight interchange facility.

    Quite where they expect the demand or the money for this kind of massive infrastructural development to come from I've no idea. I'd guess they've just copied and pasted this plan from a port town that actually has a clue. Possibly Dover?

  2. you may have noticed the new 1.5 £billion super port just opened 23 miles from London.. its a bit like why airlines don't use Manston

  3. Yes Thanet Council wants to waste more public money whether they think it is free money from Europe it still comes from tax payers ultimately, and most likely be match funded with Thanet resources . How can they seriously talk about containers when this week Dubai based DP World has announced the opening of a massive new container terminal London Gateway on the Thames. It wouldn't make sense even if they had the depth of water. If ro-ro freight doesn't work, go one worse ro-ro containers..

  4. Ramsgate could become a shipyard building rowing boats for the Royal Navy, which seems to be the direction this once proud maritime nation is going!

  5. Leisure use with a foot passenger ferry sounds the right mix of activity. Probably the WW1 links with Belgium especially Flanders for 2014 could provide something sensible.

    What is happening with car parking in the Marina which is a mess, and silting removal if the Port is closed?