15 August 2007

Not just international trains and UK destinations benefiting from airports backlash

I've mentioned a number of times, on this blog and in articles, how the grisly experiences of air passengers at UK airports is driving people onto Eurostar, and to take more short breaks and holidays in the UK.

I'd sort of assumed that they must also be turning to the ferries to get to the continent. Today I see firm evidence from the Passenger Shipping Association who say that ferries are experiencing a growth in demand triggered by the airports backlash.

Their latest Ferrystat (IRN /PSA) figures for the half year to June 2007 show an overall 3.5% rise in car journeys to the Continent, Ireland and the British Islands (excluding Scottish routes). UK and Ireland routes have seen car carryings up by 5.6%, journeys to the British Isles are up by 4.4%, while car journeys to the Continent have increased by 2.4%.

Their (PSA) opinion is that more and more travellers, especially families, are taking self-drive holidays to avoid "unpleasantly crowded" airport terminals.

Interestingly, the travel trade site, Travelmole.com, ran this as a news item today and the first comment they got was from the Travel & Tourism coordinator at Truro college who said that her brother had been held up for an hour and a half at Plymouth on Sunday when he arrived on a Brittany Ferry from Roscoff. The reason was that every passport now has to be scanned into a computer. The person doing this told him the whole boat could have been cleared in 20 minutes under the old system.

She's right! That'll dampen people's enthusiastic re-discovery of ferries. Travelling is becoming less & less fun whichever way you go!

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