Future of P&O Ferries route confirmed

Future of P&O Ferries route confirmed

Future of P&O Ferries route confirmed

The decision to permanently axe the P&O Ferries route between Hull and Zeebrugge in Belgium has been confirmed by the operator.

This update follows fear that it might put hundreds of jobs at risk.

Ongoing speculation has also left holidaymakers confused, as the route was said to have been scrapped earlier this year due to the ongoing pandemic, before being “temporarily” reinstated in August.

It has now been confirmed that two ferries, the Pride of York and the Pride of Bruges, will be taken out of service.

Among the reasons cited, operator P&O Ferries said it was closing the service, following a sharp drop in demand because of coronavirus.

The move has been labelled the “end of an era” by Maritime Historian Robb Robinson.

“The purpose of the original settlement [Hull] was to trade with the Low Countries and literally the ferry is a modern example of the continuity of that trading and movement of peoples that’s been going on for over 900 years or thereabouts,” he added.

“It really is psychologically, I think, quite serious damage in terms of that break.”

But, a spokesperson for P&O said that the route is continually making a loss.

Speaking earlier this week, a spokesperson for the company added:

“We are having to take difficult action in which some jobs may be made redundant but thousands more jobs will be saved.”

David Hooper from the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce said he was “sorry to see the route go”.

The service is expected to close for good in April.

Customers with existing bookings are advised to contact P&O directly, as many pre-booked journeys are being effected by the ongoing pandemic and by the permanent cancellation of the route.

Updates to follow as the story continues to develop.