Grayling awards £13.8m deal to ferry firm with no boats

 

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has defended a £13.8m ferry contract being given to a company with no boats on the grounds that the Government is supporting new British business.

Last week the Government awarded Seaborne Freight the work to run a freight service between Ramsgate (pictured) and Ostend to assist with post-Brexit cross-Channel congestion.

Ferry services have not operated from Ramsgate since 2013. A previous operator - TransEuropa - collapsed owing £3.3m to Thanet Council, which runs the port.

”Local
No picture of a Seaborne Freight vessel was available

The BBC subsequently reported that Seaborne Freight has never run a ferry service before and it does not currently appear to have any vessels.

Mr Grayling told the BBC’s Today radio programme: ‘I am expecting the channel ports to operate normally in all Brexit circumstances. I have had detailed discussions with my French counterparts they want to keep the channel ports moving freely and I’m confident that will happen. We are putting in place a bit of extra capacity before the start of the Brexit process just to ease the pressure on the ports.’

He added: ‘I make no apologies for supporting a new British business. The reality is, it’s a tightly drawn-up contract that requires them to deliver – but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with government supporting a small business.'

It was put to Mr Grayling that the firm owns no ships and has no track record. He responded: ‘Well, it’s a start-up business. The Government is supporting new British business, there’s nothing wrong with that. We’ve looked very carefully at this business, we’ve put in place a tight contract to make sure that they can deliver for us, but I don’t see any problem with supporting a new British business.

Last week Conservative Kent county councillor Paul Messenger told the BBC that it was impossible for the Government to have carried out sufficient checks on the firm.

Mr Grayling said: ‘I’m not quite sure what an individual Conservative councillor would be able to tell us.

‘The reality is that this has been looked at very carefully by a team of civil servants who have done due diligence on the company, have reached a conclusion they can deliver, and this was an invitation to tender they bid for – they were one of three companies that bid successfully to deliver services for us. We put in place a different contract to the other two operators who are big and established, to make sure they can deliver for us.’

Asked whether it will be possible to get the port of Ramsgate up and running again as a ferry port in time for a no-deal Brexit, Mr Grayling said: ‘We believe they are on track to be able to run ferries in April, yes.’

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Highway Inspector

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£23.836
An exciting new opportunity has arisen within our Highways Development Management team. Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Transport Planning Officer X 2

Plymouth City Council
Grade E-F Grade E (£22,911 - £25,295) Grade F (£26,317 - £28,785) per annum
Seeking two enthusiastic and motivated individuals to join this dynamic team who wish to progress a career in the area of Transport Planning. Plymouth, Devon
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Employment and Apprenticeship Officer

Brent Council
£33,291 - £35,724 p.a. inc.
Previous experience of successfully engaging employers and meeting their recruitment needs across a range of sectors is essential. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Student Environmental Health Officer Placements x 3 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National Living Wage plus enhancements for night time working
A unique chance to three Student Environmental Health Practitioners to gain experience of working within the Environmental Health function. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Health and Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 per annum
A fantastic opportunity has arisen for two highly motivated and experienced Environmental Health Officers to join our... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Transport Development Engineer

Bristol City Council
£22,021 - £23,836
An exciting opportunity has arisen in the Strategic Transport team for a junior engineer to join our Transport Development Management (TDM) team. Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Transport Development Management Co-ordinator

Bristol City Council
£38,813 - £41,675
An exciting opportunity has arisen within Transport Development Management (TDM) City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Contracts Manager - Core Service

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683 per year
The successful candidate will manage and maintain Highways partnerships and contractual arrangements to ensure effective, quality and value for... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Transport Inspectors – Land & Maritime Security

Department for Transport
£33,990 - £36,880
Looking for Transport Security Inspectors to join our team to focus on direct monitoring and assessing of industry compliance against... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Department for Transport

Lead Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£40,760 - £41,675 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Principal Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,788 - £35,934 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Project Officer - Air Quality

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £38,423
The successful candidate will ideally have a relevant degree or professional qualification. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Arborist

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£24.462 - £25.809
Seeking an experienced Climbing Arborist who has NPTC / LANTRA qualifications in chainsaw use and climbing operation units for an... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Environmental Enforcement Patrol Officer

Brent Council
£31,548 - £33,291 p.a. inc.
Looking for a person who has experience in undertaking enforcement work, carrying out awareness raising/promotional work.  Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Management Operative/Foreman

Balfour Beatty
Competitive
Are you a Traffic Management Operative/Foreman with Highspeed (12AB) Qualifications, looking for a new and exciting opportunity? If so read on..... Leatherhead, Surrey
Recuriter: Balfour Beatty

Principal Economic Growth Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £45,000 per annum
It is an exciting time to be joining the Economic Growth team at Essex County Council. Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Economic Infrastructure Manager

Essex County Council
Up to £57,000 per annum
It is an exciting time to be joining the Economic Growth team at Essex County Council Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Service - Highways

Sheffield City Council
£69,091 - £74,137
Looking for someone dynamic, with vision, energy, and an outward focus who can build strong relationships with all key partners, stakeholders with... Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Sheffield City Council

Senior Transport Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£33,799 - £35,934
You will be responsible for assisting the Team Manager with the day to day operational management and delivery of the transport service.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

PCN Appeals Officer

Brent Council
£26,745 - £30,711 p.a. inc.
Looking for an experienced parking professional to join the Notice Processing Team. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council