Opening a shipping route between Rosslare Europort and Le Havre in France would be a game-changer for Wexford and the entire South East region, a Fine Gael by-election candidate has said.
Verona Murphy, who is Managing Director of DruMur Transport Limited and President of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), is leading a delegation to Le Havre today (Friday) where she will meet with officials from the port with representatives of the French Government.
The Wexford by election candidate said: “Linking Rosslare Europort with Le Havre with a new route would be beneficial to the wider haulage industry in Ireland and will have a hugely positive economic impact on the entire South East region.
“Le Havre is classified as a Tier One corridor port entitled to Ten-T funding and Rosslare Europort will also have access to Ten-T funding if aligned with it. Such funding could fund major upgrades to the port’s infrastructure.
“With Brexit on the horizon we need to maximise the capacity on direct route sailings so we can accommodate customers who want to avoid the land-bridge so they have certainty about their timelines.
“I know hauliers are looking for a viable alternative to Dublin Port and recent investment in the road network means hauliers can now bypass Enniscorthy and New Ross. Rosslare is easily accessible and well connected to the rest of the country.
“The linking of Le Havre and Rosslare Europort makes sense irrespective of the outcome of Brexit and will serve to protect the long-term economic interests of the port, as well as facilitating its growth.
“Such a partnership would be a strategic boost for Rosslare Europort and would lead to the necessary investment and commercial support secured to protect its position as one of the country’s most important shipping ports.
“It would provide improved access to the Benelux countries, a key export market for Ireland,” she said.
“It will allow us to minimise the disruption of Brexit and avoid the land-bridge. We should be ambitious for Rosslare and this trip will work towards realising that ambition.