Could history be about to repeat itself? In 1984 Norwegian business and tourism interests joined forces to revive North Sea links from Bergen and Stavanger to Newcastle (North Shields) through the creation of Norway Line. Now a new consortium is bidding to raise £20 million in Norway and Britain to revive the route, last operated by DFDS with Queen of Scandinavia, until closure in September 2008.

Project leader Ole Warberg, Bergen’s tourism chief, says the aim is to start operations in the first half of 2013 using a ro-pax vessel handling 300 cars or 200 trailers and 800 passengers. Investment so far has come from industry and business in Western Norway, where there have long been calls for reinstatement of a UK link.

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