Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman said it was “no surprise” that plans for a Rosyth ferry to Groningen have run aground.

After months of silence around the direct link between Scotland and the Netherlands, it seems that the proposals have been cancelled according to reports in the Dutch media.

Scottish marine technology company TEC Offshore first announced the plans last summer with hopes that it would have been launched as soon as October 2019, but the project was delayed until April this year and the Perthshire based company have been silent since.

However, there are still positive signs for a future service to Belgium as another company is working alongside Mr Chapman on plans to re-open a ferry link between Rosyth and Zeebrugge.

The SNP MP said: “The Rosyth - Groningen route has been dead in the water for some time, so this comes as no surprise.

“However I am working with another interested party who again see Rosyth as the only port on the Scotland side which can deliver an effective ferry service into the heart of Europe.

“I hear that they are looking at Zeebrugge as the receiving port on the continental European side.”

Last August, TEC Offshore said that plans were at an “advanced stage” and with the prospect of long queues of lorries and cars at Dover becoming more likely due to Brexit approaching, the company wanted a direct ferry connecting with Europe.

The company was in talks with the two ports and the Scottish Government over the arrangements for the service, which would be the first to transport passengers directly between Scotland and the continent in almost a decade.

The freight-only route between Rosyth and Zeebrugge in Belgium closed in 2018.

The passenger service had ceased to operate in 2010.

Speaking to Dutch TV station RTV, TEC Offshore director Gordon Leighton said the plans for a ferry link to Holland had been shelved and blamed a “lack of support for the project”.

It’s understood that although the Scottish Government received notes of interest from several companies, securing funding had proved challenging.

Ministers have repeatedly backed a direct ferry service linking Scotland to Europe but said it needs to be delivered on a commercial basis.

Mr Chapman added: “What is becoming clearer by the day is that there is going to be one almighty bottleneck at Dover as the full impact of Brexit kicks in, and the market opportunity to move goods through the likes of Rosyth and Zeebrugge seems very attractive in comparison.

“What we have always known is that either we need an operator with deep pockets to get the service up and running before it can move into profit or the government supports the service.

“It seems at the moment that London takes a huge amount of tax out of Scotland but is not giving us enough of our own money back to support such a service which would be good, not only for Scotland but to take some of the pressure away from Dover.”