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45 direct links to France December 2, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Interesting point on the ever listenable Brexit Republic podcast from RTÉ. The indefatigable Tony Connelly noted that last week Thomas Byrne, the ROI’s European Affairs Minister launched ‘yet another ferry route from France to Ireland’ in Le Havre which would bring the number of direct routes to Ireland from France to he thinks 45. As he says they’re springing up all the time now. The one he references is presumably this one? RTÉ had already note the arrival at 44 routes prior to this in October.

But for a sense of the sea change (ahem) check this out:

Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne has today inaugurated a new Irish terminal at the French ferry port of Dunkirk, with Ireland-France sea routes rising from 12 before Brexit to 44 now.

And what of this?

The importance of Dunkirk has become the latest outworking of Brexit and reflects the growing need for direct sea routes to and from Ireland so that Irish and other EU exporters can sidestep the UK land bridge.

That is because the land bridge is now associated with delays and customs formalities.

Mr Byrne said the land bridge was still important as it took less time than average and was important for certain fresh foods.

Here’s a very illuminating tweet from the DFA.

Comments»

1. Damon Matthew Wise Âû - December 2, 2021

So many to France.

Then stuck routing via Paris or back into Eurostar expensive services, which do not cater for PwD with Electric wheelchair and medical bags..

But problem with inward connection is just start.

Dunkerk has cross border railway line, but no services. Buses do not stop nor carry PwD.

Is just a few km around and over the border to station on Belgium side, but…

Any to Belgium or Netherlands, like Oostende, Zeebrugge, or Hoek van Holland, which link into direct local train and International routes.

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2021

Thanks Damon, that perspective is vital in all this. That’s not good enough about no facilities.

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Paul Culloty - December 2, 2021

Cork serves Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Esbjerg (Denmark), it’s just that LoLo tends to be lower-profile than RoRo:

https://www.portofcork.ie/index.cfm/page/shippingroutemap

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2. irishelectionliterature - December 2, 2021

Looking to the future…. are there many direct ferries from Scotland to Belguim, Netherlands, France etc?

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2021

Scotland in particular

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3. alanmyler - December 2, 2021

I was just looking at those ferry routes last week for the purposes of next year’s holiday plans, fingers crossed regarding the pandemic of course. Just as a way of avoiding flying, for eco reasons more than covid related ones. We were thinking of cycling to the ferry port and this end, getting the ferry to Europe, and cycling off at the far end to start a bit of a cycle around Europe. I was thinking maybe Roscoff and heading south to link up with the Eurovelo route from the Atlantic to the Black Sea and doing the French portion of that, or maybe a bit further into Germany. Another nice option might be to get the ferry to Santander and cycle the Camino to Santiago de Compostella, although it’s not clear from the ferry company’s website whether one can book that ferry as a bike passenger, it seems to assume that one will be travelling using a motorised vehicle. Another option would be to get a ferry to Holland and cycle up the Rhine. Anyway that’s just one benefit from all these additional ferry routes!

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2021

Santander is v interesting to me too. That’s a great idea though cycling in countryside here seems scary so what about France or Spain? Easier ? More difficult?

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alanmyler - December 2, 2021

We do a good bit of country cycling here and it’s not scary really. I mean one wouldn’t generally want to be cycling on an N road, those are pretty busy and not always bike friendly in terms of road width or traffic speeds, but once you’re on the R roads it’s usually grand, and if you can get even further off piste onto the L roads it’s a real cycling treat. Having said all of that I’m basing this on cycling around North Meath or down the West somewhere. My experience of cycling in Wicklow wouldn’t be as positive, just too many cars to make cycling comfortable there.

I’ve never cycled in Spain, but rural France is very comfortable. I’d imagine the greatest difficulty is probably just finding open shops to buy food and water from as a lot of rural France seems to be very sparsely populated and the villages often have no local shops, a direct result of the spread of hyper markets and the concentration of shops into the towns and away from the villages. I’m basing this on a couple of spins around the Loire area 25 years ago, but herself spent a day or two cycling in Provence a couple of years ago and said it was really easy going, very enjoyable. Actually I lie, we went for a day spin in Alsace into Germany and back a few years ago and that was grand too.

Further afield, the only Euro cycling that I’ve done more recently, the Danube cycle path is just absolutely fantastic. The stretch we did, from the German border to Vienna, is almost completely off the main roads, on really good cycle paths, and even the few road sections aren’t busy. Doing the next stretch of that route, from Vienna to Budapest, is also on the list of options for next year, but realistically we’d need to fly into Vienna to do that one, as it’s a long way from the ferry ports to Austria and the additional travel by train just makes it less attractive in terms of time spent traveling before the start of the pedaling.

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2021

Thanks Alan, that’s really handy to know. I’d have little problem with dedicated cycling spaces. Those that are a bit more… casual… not so much.

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2021

Mind you I can think of one person, around 13 yo, who would veto even the idea.

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alanmyler - December 2, 2021

LOL, let’s face it, what 13 year old wants to spend a holiday cycling around rural France with her parents!

About that though, one of my in-laws was staying in a campsite in the Landes region on the France Atlantic coast, south of Bordeaux, and he was saying that there are great (and flat) off-road cycle paths through the pine forests there, which would be perfect for a bit of family cycling for when people get bored hanging out at the beach or the pool or the on-site cafe / bar and so on.

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Mat - December 2, 2021

I’m not a super confident cyclist but my former partner is, and we both thought cycling the Camino looked quite nerve racking with lots of fast roads and tight bends when we drove the route about 8 years ago. Cycling in France however – very comfortable and safe.

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WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2021

Very fair point Alan. 🙂

Cycling in France it is so, Mat! The benefits of a closer sense (and reality) of the continent is no bad thing. I’m fascinated how so many of my friends offspring are still going to London but also go to Europe more broadly as a matter of course. That wasn’t my experience in the 80s.

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