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Multi-million pound dock expansion

PUBLISHED: 14:56 25 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

IPSWICH Docks is set to expand its roll on/roll off ferry service to Ostend after accepting a £3.5 million investment deal.

Work will begin at the end of June on building a second ferry birth offering a service to Ostend from the port's West Bank Terminal.

IPSWICH Docks is set to expand its roll on/roll off ferry service to Ostend after accepting a £3.5 million investment deal.

Work will begin at the end of June on building a second ferry birth offering a service to Ostend from the port's West Bank Terminal.

Dredging and new surfacing work will also have to be completed and the new facilities should be operational by the end of January 2005.

The £6.1 million capital project follows Associated British Ports' (ABP) agreement to extend Ipswich port's existing five-year agreement with Ferryways by another 20 years in September 2003.

Ferryways began operating a ro-ro service at the port in February 2000 with the introduction of the Ipswich to Ostend two-ship service, and demand has increased each year since.

A third sailing was introduced in 2002 with a fourth vessel added to the service in June 2003 to meet demand.

The construction of a second berth will allow the port to handle even more passengers.

Robert Smith, port manager, said: "One of our key aims has been to re-establish the Port of Ipswich as a leading ro-ro port and, thanks to our strong relationship with Ferryways, we are starting to do this.

"Investing in a second ro-ro terminal means that we will be able to develop our relationship with Ferryways further and secure our position as an important gateway for short-sea trades."

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