Ferries are the safer way to travel abroad during the coronavirus outbreak, I told Parliament this week.
Social distancing is more achievable on large ships compared to aeroplanes, meaning they represent a “Covid-secure option”.
I made the point as I outlined my plan to counter the jobs threat at cross-Channel ferry provider P&O, which has announced plans to lay off staff due to financial problems.
The Government recently announced a £35 million support package for cross-Channel services, while also extending the furlough scheme until at least October. P&O should be making full use of the scheme rather than take decisions on workforce reductions during the pandemic.
My first priority is the workers and their families who are affected by what has been happening, and I have been working hard to persuade P&O to change course and an ambitious plan for the future of the ferry industry at Dover.
Promoting ferry travel – which everyone knows is the safer way to go abroad – and pushing for the return of duty free and the fun of the Dance to France will help really turn things around.
If we get it right, the ferry industry could really take off over the next few years. That’s why I’m working so hard to get the Port, ferry companies and the Government to work together to secure the brightest future for our area.