Restored only in late February, Brittany Ferries’ English Channel vehicle and passenger link between Poole and Cherbourg closes on 3 October with a decision over summer operations in 2012 due by the end of September.

After withdrawal of the previous tourist service early in 2010, regular route vessel Barfleur (1992/20,133gt) was brought back on a more freight-oriented connection with limited passenger capacity, the company saying then that long-term plans would be reviewed during the summer.

Mike Bevens, Brittany Ferries’ Commercial Passenger Director explained: ‘While support fro the service by the local community has been very positive, it has not been good enough to deliver the required revenue. Freight carryings have also not grown to the extent we were anticipating which, coupled with the relatively high price of oil, means the operation of this type of service is unsustainable in the winter months.’

The move has not come as a shock to Poole Harbour Commissioners, chief executive Jim Stewart commenting: ‘We are disappointed, but it hasn’t come as a complete surprise.’ Brittany Ferries will continue to use ro-ro freight vessel Cotentin (2007/22,542gt) for crossings to Cherbourg.

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