Talk to us, FTA tells Chunnel folk
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POTENTIAL freight users of a fixed Channel link have not been consulted over their needs, according to the Freight Transport Association.
October 31 is the final day for construction contenders to submit their plans to the Government, FTA director general Garry Turvey has commented in a letter inviting members to a Channel link meeting.
He says: "Much has been said of the comparative cost of fixed links, of the technical feasibility and the benefits to motorists, most of whom only have an interest in crossing the Channel once a year — if that.
"It is ironical to the point of now being a matter of deep concern that, to the best of our knowledge, little account has yet been taken of the needs and interests of those involved in the movement and distribution of freight "Yet the contenders, like the roll-on/roll-off operators most know that their regular year-round revenue will come from industry and not the casual holiday motorist," said Turvey.
• Sealink British Ferries, part of the anti-fixed link campaign group Flexilink, is now showing interest in becoming a late contender with proposals for a fixed link.
There have been reports that Sealink's parent com pany, Sea Containers, is studying the possibility of an application to build the fixed link.
A Sealink spokeswoman said it was "examining its future position — including Sealink British Ferries becoming involved in a crossing scheme".
But she would not say if Sealink had submitted a plan to the Government, or if it was about to.
Sealink is opposed in principle to the idea of a fixed link, but in the light of growing political pressure for it, Sealink has reconsidered its position, she said.