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February 14 2014.

News from the Transmanche Users Group (TUG):

First there were four, and then there were none. It turns out that none, zero, of the likely candidates for the renewal of the Public Service Contract for the Dieppe-Newhaven ferry have actually submitted a bid. The two envelopes opened by the official scrutineers earlier this week contained only suggestions and apologies.

At a TUG meeting in Dieppe on Tuesday, Jean-Claude Charlo, managing director of the French operation of DFDS, the current contractor, explained that his company was unable to meet the terms demanded by the tender document. It appears that the new contract, it was planned, would be run as a public-private joint venture, which would mean that DFDS would be unable to adequately exploit the manpower, purchasing and intellectual property synergies which his group has at its disposal. Presumably the other contenders, P&O, Brittany Ferries and MyFerryLink had similar feelings.

Importantly, Mr Charlo stated that DFDS would be happy to carry on on the present basis, even though it had no actual financial profit to show at the end of the day. It now remains to be seen what will happen; it seems likely that the Conseil Général will revise its tender documents and try again. In the meantime DFDS would agree to carry on pro tem, if asked.

So all is not doom and gloom, - necessarily...

For current Dieppe-Newhaven ferry crossing offers visit: