At an event hosted at the Port of Calais, members of the ports of Dover of Calais signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in attempts to cope with ever increasing traffic between the two.
With freight traffic between Dover and Calais expected to rise by 40 percent come 2030, the need to strengthen trade routes between the two ports is becoming more and more essential.
The BRIDGE (Building the Resilience of International and Dependent Gateways in Europe) project aims to create a fully integrated freight corridor, combining road, rail and maritime transport, linking the UK’s south coast with Northern France, Benelux and North-East Spain.
This includes Calais’ ‘Port 2015’ project which will increase capacity through the development of a new harbour, a new cross-Channel terminal with a further three cross-Channel berths and a Ro/Ro berth, and an added 80 hectares of new platforms.
Major investment is also being undertaken to develop a rail motorway terminal linking the port in Nord-Pas de Calais with Perpignan in the south of France, whilst a major reorganisation project will start to help alleviate road traffic to and from the port.
At the Port of Dover, three berths are being renovated, whilst two piers have already been extended.
A further three berths will be refurbished on the Kent side of the English Channel by 2015.
Chief executive at Port of Dover, Tim Waggott said: “BRIDGE recognises that, by collaborating, we can complement each other and enhance the resilience of this international trade route.”
“We connect the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland with the continental mainland, so it is essential that Dover works closely with our opposite numbers in Calais. By developing efficient port facilities and transport connections on both sides of the Channel we will be perfectly placed to meet the needs of our customers, communities and strengthen the local economies.”
The MoU was signed by the Port of Calais’ Cote d’Opale Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Dover Harbour Board in the presence of stakeholders and the Nord-Pas de Calais Council, who own the French port.
Both ports are recognised by the European Commission as strategically important and are designated as ‘core ports’ under the TEN-T network 2014-2020.