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Ferry route planned from Scotland to Netherlands

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Findlandia SeawaysImage copyright DAvid Dixon
Image caption A previous service from Rosyth ended last year

A Scottish shipping company is planning to start a daily ferry service linking Rosyth with the Netherlands.

Operations would start around the time that Brexit is scheduled by the Westminster government.

That could make such a route a vital link for freight, if there are delays on crossings further south.

The ferry service would run between the Fife port and Groningen Seaport at Eemshaven, in the far north of the Netherlands near the German border.

News of the service first broke through Dutch news service RTV Noord, and was confirmed by David Kellas, director at TEC Offshore.

Offshore activities

He explained the Perthshire-based company already has a wide portfolio of offshore activities.

These include drill ships, dive boats, floating oil and gas production vessels and floating accommodation for offshore workers.

He told BBC Scotland: “Eeemshaven is a more central port than people give it credit for”.

However, it is not usually used for passenger services, and arrangements for that are still being discussed.

The operation would involve chartering two ships, each carrying up to 2,000 passengers.

Zeebrugge service

There was a passenger ferry service between Rosyth and Zeebrugge in Belgium between 2002 and 2010. It became a freight-only operation until 2018.

“This would be a daily crossing, which is fantastic,” said Margaret Simpson, head of policy for Scotland & Northern England at the Freight Transport Association.

She told Reuters news agency the idea had been under consideration for some time and might make sense even if there were no Brexit.

But in light of Brexit “it makes a lot of sense, given the potential delays”, she said. “Rather than going to southern England to sit in a queue, just drive to Rosyth,” she said.

“The key to the success of this route will be getting whisky on board,” Simpson said, adding that timber would be another possibility.

“Nice that the Scots see Groningen as the gateway to Europe,” Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Kasja Ollongren tweeted in response to the news of the proposed ferry.

Content provided by the BBC. Original piece can be found here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-49438191

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