FURTHER talks on a proposed ferry link which would link West Fife to France have taken place.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman visited Dunkirk this week to discuss plans for the reinstatement of the ferry link between Rosyth and Europe – titled Project Brave.

The Major of Dunkirk, representatives from the Scottish Government ferry provider DFDS, Forth Ports and the Port of Dunkirk were in attendance as well as Derek Sloan, from Ptarmigan Shipping.

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Project Brave is the campaign led by Mr Chapman and Mr Sloan to facilitate the establishment of this new ferry, building on the Ptarmigan Shipping's CEO's expertise in the maritime sector and the success of his Brexit busting ferries from Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland direct to continental Europe.

Dunfermline Press:

Mr Chapman said: “We had a very cordial and productive visit with our French counterparts at Dunkirk to discuss getting this ferry service up and running by the Spring of next year, focussing on the opportunities inherent in this vital connection and barriers to overcome which lie, in the main, with the UK's Border Force.

"We are all working hard to find the appropriate solutions to allow the service to get underway for freight and passengers alike.

“We had initially looked at Zeebrugge as our European destination port, but the berth we wanted became unavailable, so we immediately looked to Dunkirk instead where our preferred operator, DFDS, already has a huge presence.

"Dunkirk has all the factors in place as the perfect ferry destination for continental Europe, both in terms of the business case and its physical capabilities, with the necessary infrastructure including an available berth and border control facilities, an excellent passenger terminal, onward freight destinations, and access to Belgium, Germany, Holland and France for holiday makers.”

Mr Sloan added: "The economic, environmental and connectivity benefits of getting this ferry up and running again will be huge for Scotland.

"Market feedback shows us there is a strong potential demand for car accompanied travel from Scotland to the continent, with Scotland seen as a great year-round destination for holiday makers with many coming from France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

"The boost to tourism both locally and nationally could be significant as would the reduction in carbon footprint from taking holiday makers and freight off the road, rail and air networks. For freight, faster transit times and avoiding congested ports at Dover will be a major factor in terms of the cost competitiveness aspect of this route.”

A follow-up meeting is set to take place in Rosyth in the near future when representatives from the Port of Dunkirkque will visit Scotland.

The route from Rosyth was last open to freight in 2018 when it was operated by DFDS but a fire on board its ship hastened the end as the company could not find a replacement and “lost all hope” of turning around losses.

The last passenger carrying ferry was in 2010, eight years after sailings first began.