Marina and more berths planned

Contributed by editor on May 18, 2006 - 12:43 AM


In a major re-development of the Western Docks in Dover, the Harbour Board is working up plans for up to four new ferry berths and a new marina.

Dover's Western Docks

Leading consultants drawing up a long-term strategy for the port have confirmed the Eastern Docks Ferry Terminal is reaching full capacity with no room for additional berths and little scope for further expansion. 

With the main A20 port access road through the town under strain from record levels of freight traffic, the Board says the Western Docks offers a part solution to the town’s road congestion and sufficient ferry capacity for the next few decades. 

The Board is already consulting with government and other agencies to create a “buffer zoneâ€? to assemble freight vehicles off the A20 between Folkestone and Dover and manage the flow rates through the town and within the port. 

“The port must respond positively and act decisively to ensure it has capacity and facilities to meet growing traffic flows and to do it in a way which minimises the impact on the town of Dover,â€? says Chief Executive Bob Goldfield. 

“With the support of government and other agencies, and the local community, we can build a second ferry terminal and create a system to control the flow of lorry traffic passing through the town and port. It’s a win win opportunity for the town and for the port and we need to push ahead with both initiatives.â€? 

For the Western Docks to function as a ferry terminal it will be necessary to reclaim the Tidal Harbour and Granville Dock marina areas. To compensate for this, the Board plans to create a new marina in a more prominent position in the outer harbour linked to the new sea sports centre which is due to open in 2007 on the beach. 

Mr Goldfield described the port as being at a crossroads and to do nothing was not an option. “We know traffic will grow for many years to come and if we do not increase port capacity there will be a worsening of congestion and it will be a missed opportunity. 

“These proposals will allow the port to realise its full potential in terms of employment, its wealth-creating contribution to the local economy and the country’s trade facilitation.�