This week the Mayor of Ostend announced plans for a ro-ro route carrying freight between his town and Ramsgate.
In a statement via social media Mayor Johan Vande Lanotte says the route will start on March 1, 2018.
He said: “The Board of Management of the Port of Ostend has reached a basic agreement with Seaborne freight for the launch of a new RoRo line Oostende- Ramsgate.”
The announcement, made in the run up to the 2018 elections in Ostend, does not detail what type of vessel would be used and whether modifications to Ramsgate Port would need to be made.
It is the latest plan for the port which has remained inactive, other than a one year contract with car transporter GEFCO, since TransEuropa Ferries went bankrupt in 2013.
Here are 8 other port ‘proposals’ that are yet to come to fruition
Euroferries announced it would be operating a 102m trimaran high speed service from Ramsgate by 2013.
Euroferries again announced it would be launching a Ramsgate to Boulogne service. It had also approached Thanet District Council back in 2009. No service emerged.
Thanet council issued a statement to say: “Thanet District Council can confirm that there is no agreement with Euroferries Express ltd. to facilitate a cross-channel ferry service between Ramsgate and Boulogne.”
Thanet council advised that talks were under-way with potential ferry operators with names touted including DFDS.
Ferry expert Bill Moses said he planned to relaunch ferry services at the port
His plans were for an operator to carry up to 500,000 passengers by its second year of operation at Ramsgate.
It was revealed that Thanet council had failed in a bid to get Government funding of £4.17million, to be matched with £2million from the authority, to carry out plans which could double lorry capacity at the port to one million vehicles a year.
A three phase expansion was planned.
The first phase was to improve the port’s handling capacity, particularly for unaccompanied freight vehicles, with a double deck ro-ro berth.
The second phase was the development of an on-port new alongside quay for the existing aggregates cargo and bulk cargo expansion and secondly an off-site freight logistics hub at Manston Business Park.
A third phase of seaward port expansion would have been dependent on demand.
The proposals have reappeared in a report compiled by the East Kent Regeneration Board (EKRB) in August.
The new shipping expert taken on by Thanet council said the authority could buy its own ferry to run cross-Channel services from Ramsgate.
Robert Hardy, of Paradox Consulting, was one of the Ramsgate representatives who attended the industry Multimodal expo in Birmingham.
Talking to Shipping TV Mr Hardy said: “We have got to write a model as though we are starting our own ferry company. In fact I asked the question when I was brought in why don’t we buy the ferry, why are we relying on someone else to share our view?”
Thanet council later issued a statement to say@ “The Port does not intend to either purchase or operate ships ourselves.”
Beach schools, sea-themed playgrounds, a fish market and water sports adventure park were just some of the proposals for Ramsgate revealed at a public meeting.
The Port Ramsgate Maritime Village proposals were earmarked to be a part of Thanet council’s Local Plan – a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure up to 2031 for the isle.
The Ramsgate maritime report was the work of community group Wish You Were Here with the meeting headed by Councillor Bev Martin and resident Helene Whitehall.
A maritime plan may still be on the cards – but not this one.
— Marian Krotoszyński (@krotoszynski1) August 18, 2017
A tweet emerged ‘revealing’ Thanet council discussions with a Polish ferry company about bringing services to Ramsgate Port.
The council’s consultant Robert Hardy, who was taken on in April, was believed to have been in talks with Polferries.
The company is the largest Polish ferry operator.