Condor Ferries give no guarantees over Weymouth sailing

Dorset Echo: IN THE BALANCE: Condor Vitesse on its way out of Weymouth IN THE BALANCE: Condor Vitesse on its way out of Weymouth

CONDOR Ferries has given no guarantees whether it will continue sailing from Weymouth.

Speaking for the first time since it emerged the firm’s future in the resort was uncertain due to new infrastructure demands, Condor Ferries’ boss James Fulford stayed tight-lipped about the future.

It comes as it is revealed that the firm would have to stay away for two years rather than one if Weymouth and Portland Borough Council undertook £10m worth of works to upgrade berth 1.

This is because there would have to be a harbour revision order which could end up going to a public inquiry.

The Dorset Echo, which has launched a campaign calling on the firm to stay in Weymouth, put a number of questions to the company about its plans for cross-Channel operations and whether it could confirm its commitment to the town.

Mr Fulford, chief executive of Condor Ferries, said the firm valued its relationship with Weymouth, but avoided questions about whether sailings would continue from the resort if it purchased a new super ferry.

It has emerged the council may have to fork out an estimated £10m to accommodate the larger ship which Condor is thinking of buying. The high speed trimaran could only dock at berth 1, which will need a substantial upgrade.

Condor has rejected using berth 3, which the council spent more than £4m on refurbishing last year.

The resort suffered a major blow when the company switched sailings to Poole for 17 months while it was repaired.

Condor said it was unable to respond to a series of questions put by the Dorset Echo.

But chief executive Mr Fulford said: “Condor Ferries is committed to investing in a safe and efficient fleet which will enable us to provide a full service of sailings, keeping the Channel Islands connected and supplied.

“One of the options we are currently considering is investing in a new ship. However, this investment relies upon us achieving the certainty of a new licence to operate to the islands.

“Introducing any new ship involves a range of legislative and infrastructure considerations and, as you would expect, we are working closely with all the interested parties, including Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, other harbour authorities and the States of Jersey and Guernsey.”

There has been a ferry link between Weymouth and the Channel Islands for more than 200 years.

Condor, which has been providing the service for 20 years, favours Weymouth because of its easy access to the sea and because it is the closest English mainland port to the Channel Islands.

Mr Fulford added: “We are a long-standing customer of Weymouth Harbour, having operated from there for many years, and value our close relationship with the town.”

Could go to inquiry

ENVIRONMENT and sustainability spokesman for the borough council Ian Roebuck said trying to get anything definitive from Condor Ferries was proving difficult.

Cllr Roebuck said negotiations between the council and Condor were continuing.

He added there is likely to be a gap of two years rather than one if it was agreed to upgrade berth 1.

He added: “If Condor Ferries took over berth 1 there would be a significant effect on existing harbour users.

“There would have to be a harbour revision order and that process takes about a year. It may end up going to a public inquiry. So you would have to allow a year for the work to be done and another year for the revision order.”

Sign the petition calling on Condor to stay in Weymouth at dorsetecho.co.uk or at local retailers selling the Dorset Echo.

Comments (30)

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6:42am Tue 13 May 14

PHonnor says...

If Condor prefer to use weymouth because of its easy access could they not be asked to make a contribution to the cost of works? I think the burning question the public has the right to know is wether the council knew about this before 4 million of their money was spent and what commitment did the council get from Condor before proceeding?
If Condor prefer to use weymouth because of its easy access could they not be asked to make a contribution to the cost of works? I think the burning question the public has the right to know is wether the council knew about this before 4 million of their money was spent and what commitment did the council get from Condor before proceeding? PHonnor
  • Score: 16

7:12am Tue 13 May 14

ThomasFairfax says...

On the 18th February this year, I wrote:
"Condor ferries are in discussions with the Jersey States in respect of a long term operating licence with the company for the UK Channel Islands ferry routes. Senator Alan Maclean, Economic Development Minister announced last week.
In the meantime, the company has been given an interim five-year licence after its previous one expired at the end of 2013. As part of the new arrangements, it is also reported, that provided all goes well. Condor will replace two of its existing fast ferries with a new £50 million Next Generation 102m Trimaran. The new ferry, built by Austal in Australia, with defence subsidiaries in the United States and a commercial shipyard in the Philippines, has a capacity for 1165 passengers and 245 cars. It is proposed that the ferry will be in service by October of this year (2014).
The Condor Express and the Condor Vitesse, now operate from Weymouth, with Condor Rapide usually operating out of Poole. The three current ferries have essentially the same capacity and dimensions with space for up to 175 vehicles and 741 passengers, and slightly fewer passengers on Rapide. A comparison between the new vessel and the existing ones reveals striking differences.
The new ferry is 102 meters in length, with a beam of 27 meters as compared with the 86 meter length and 26 meter beam of the other vessels. The increased capacity from 175 vehicles and 741 passengers, to 250 vehicles and 1165 passengers,will provide adequate flexibility for increased passengers traffic to the Channel Islands, when and if the Tourist bodies in the islands are finally able to regenerate the tourist industry and attract higher numbers of visitors.
There is however, a small question mark which could cause a problem for the authorities and for Condor. The "problem" may be ferry terminal 3 at Weymouth Harbour. Readers may recall that Weymouth terminal three, first became a news story back in 2012, when crumbling and large cracks were discovered in the pier surfaces and roadways close to the terminal building . It was decided then, just prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, (Weymouth was a venue for sailing and other water events), that the ferry terminal would be closed until the necessary repairs had been completed and in the meantime, Condor would transfer its Channel Islands and France sailings to Poole.
During the course of the remedial work at Weymouth however, it became apparent that the foundations of the pier, below the waterline close to the vehicle loading ramps, had become badly damaged and would require immediate work. This additional repair extended the schedule and date for completion, and added significant costs to an already expensive restoration project. The final bill for the repairs was in excess of £4.5 million and the programme was completed in mid 2013, with Condor restarting its operations in July of 2013, almost 12 months later than planned.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, having spent such vast sums of money on repairing the terminal facilities may well expect to achieve a reasonable return on their investments from increased tourists visiting the town for overnight stays when using the ferry or from additional revenues generated by the ferry operator.
Clearly, the size of the new vessel is significantly greater than the existing ones, being some 53feet longer and 4 feet wider with an increased capacity for another 75 vehicles and 424 passengers.
It is debatable whether the new vessel will actually be able to use ferry terminal 3 at Weymouth as a result of the increased dimensions. In fact, in October of last year, I wrote in this Blog under the heading of "New Condor ships may be too big for Weymouth Pier three ", commenting on a conversation I had with some Condor employees on board the Condor Vitesse as we returned from Jersey .If this is, in fact the case, then the only logical option is for the new ferry to operate exclusively from Poole.
It also emerges that Condor have indicated that the new vessel will "replace two ships of the existing fleet". Clearly, the only candidates are the Express and the Vittesse which, if taken out of service, will effectively reduce the overall tourist capacity by some 100 vehicle and 320 passengers, and remove at least one sailing per day between the Channel Islands and the mainland. How this can be a "boost to the Jersey tourism industry", as claimed by the States tourism board and certain States members, is a complete mystery.
It seems that in the euphoria of the news of a potential "new condor ferry" operating on the Channel Islands route, there are a number of issues which require consideration and discussion, both in Jersey and on the mainland.
The prospect of a new ship, carrying vehicles and tourist passengers in operation by October of this year, may be somewhat optimistic.
On the 18th February this year, I wrote: "Condor ferries are in discussions with the Jersey States in respect of a long term operating licence with the company for the UK Channel Islands ferry routes. Senator Alan Maclean, Economic Development Minister announced last week. In the meantime, the company has been given an interim five-year licence after its previous one expired at the end of 2013. As part of the new arrangements, it is also reported, that provided all goes well. Condor will replace two of its existing fast ferries with a new £50 million Next Generation 102m Trimaran. The new ferry, built by Austal in Australia, with defence subsidiaries in the United States and a commercial shipyard in the Philippines, has a capacity for 1165 passengers and 245 cars. It is proposed that the ferry will be in service by October of this year (2014). The Condor Express and the Condor Vitesse, now operate from Weymouth, with Condor Rapide usually operating out of Poole. The three current ferries have essentially the same capacity and dimensions with space for up to 175 vehicles and 741 passengers, and slightly fewer passengers on Rapide. A comparison between the new vessel and the existing ones reveals striking differences. The new ferry is 102 meters in length, with a beam of 27 meters as compared with the 86 meter length and 26 meter beam of the other vessels. The increased capacity from 175 vehicles and 741 passengers, to 250 vehicles and 1165 passengers,will provide adequate flexibility for increased passengers traffic to the Channel Islands, when and if the Tourist bodies in the islands are finally able to regenerate the tourist industry and attract higher numbers of visitors. There is however, a small question mark which could cause a problem for the authorities and for Condor. The "problem" may be ferry terminal 3 at Weymouth Harbour. Readers may recall that Weymouth terminal three, first became a news story back in 2012, when crumbling and large cracks were discovered in the pier surfaces and roadways close to the terminal building . It was decided then, just prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, (Weymouth was a venue for sailing and other water events), that the ferry terminal would be closed until the necessary repairs had been completed and in the meantime, Condor would transfer its Channel Islands and France sailings to Poole. During the course of the remedial work at Weymouth however, it became apparent that the foundations of the pier, below the waterline close to the vehicle loading ramps, had become badly damaged and would require immediate work. This additional repair extended the schedule and date for completion, and added significant costs to an already expensive restoration project. The final bill for the repairs was in excess of £4.5 million and the programme was completed in mid 2013, with Condor restarting its operations in July of 2013, almost 12 months later than planned. Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, having spent such vast sums of money on repairing the terminal facilities may well expect to achieve a reasonable return on their investments from increased tourists visiting the town for overnight stays when using the ferry or from additional revenues generated by the ferry operator. Clearly, the size of the new vessel is significantly greater than the existing ones, being some 53feet longer and 4 feet wider with an increased capacity for another 75 vehicles and 424 passengers. It is debatable whether the new vessel will actually be able to use ferry terminal 3 at Weymouth as a result of the increased dimensions. In fact, in October of last year, I wrote in this Blog under the heading of "New Condor ships may be too big for Weymouth Pier three ", commenting on a conversation I had with some Condor employees on board the Condor Vitesse as we returned from Jersey .If this is, in fact the case, then the only logical option is for the new ferry to operate exclusively from Poole. It also emerges that Condor have indicated that the new vessel will "replace two ships of the existing fleet". Clearly, the only candidates are the Express and the Vittesse which, if taken out of service, will effectively reduce the overall tourist capacity by some 100 vehicle and 320 passengers, and remove at least one sailing per day between the Channel Islands and the mainland. How this can be a "boost to the Jersey tourism industry", as claimed by the States tourism board and certain States members, is a complete mystery. It seems that in the euphoria of the news of a potential "new condor ferry" operating on the Channel Islands route, there are a number of issues which require consideration and discussion, both in Jersey and on the mainland. The prospect of a new ship, carrying vehicles and tourist passengers in operation by October of this year, may be somewhat optimistic. ThomasFairfax
  • Score: 18

7:15am Tue 13 May 14

ThomasFairfax says...

On 30th May 2013, I wrote: (http://new-agenda20
12.blogspot.co.uk)
I have never been as optimistic about this repair project timescale and costs as Weymouth and Portland Borough Council seem to have been. Going back over some comments made by Condor Ferries since before the Olympic Games in 2012, it seems (reading between the lines), that they too did not share Weymouth's confidence that the repairs would be complete and operations from Weymouth would recommence in May of 2013. The date for the return of the ferry operator from Poole is now scheduled for July of this year, but it seems that even that date is questionable. The comment form Condor that "...The company is keen to return and will start sailings on July 17 – if the work is done." is a qualified one and does not seem particularly confident.
I have posted blog entries on a number of occasions prior to the Olympic Games, and since, expressing doubts in respect of the Harbour repair project, and the likelihood of Condor Ferries returning to their Weymouth operations.

( New Agenda 5th October 2012. http://new-agenda201
2.blogspot.co.uk/201
2/10/more-delay-on-w
eymouths-harbour-rep
airs.html )

This latest announcement of a further increase in the estimated cost of the repairs, together with more "technical" problems being uncovered again throws into doubt the completion date and consequently the return of Weymouth's major employer.
Had Weymouth and Portland Borough Council allowed Condor to operate from Portland while the repairs were carried out, this present uncertainty would have been avoided. The repairs could have been completed while Condor remained in Portland, but the decision to prevent the ferry operator making that short move while the repairs were carried out, on the grounds that "the increase in traffic through the town (Weymouth), would cause severe congestion on the new improved road system for Olympic Games visitors", is (another) bad decision that the Council and its members will ultimately regret.
On 30th May 2013, I wrote: (http://new-agenda20 12.blogspot.co.uk) I have never been as optimistic about this repair project timescale and costs as Weymouth and Portland Borough Council seem to have been. Going back over some comments made by Condor Ferries since before the Olympic Games in 2012, it seems (reading between the lines), that they too did not share Weymouth's confidence that the repairs would be complete and operations from Weymouth would recommence in May of 2013. The date for the return of the ferry operator from Poole is now scheduled for July of this year, but it seems that even that date is questionable. The comment form Condor that "...The company is keen to return and will start sailings on July 17 – if the work is done." is a qualified one and does not seem particularly confident. I have posted blog entries on a number of occasions prior to the Olympic Games, and since, expressing doubts in respect of the Harbour repair project, and the likelihood of Condor Ferries returning to their Weymouth operations. ( New Agenda 5th October 2012. http://new-agenda201 2.blogspot.co.uk/201 2/10/more-delay-on-w eymouths-harbour-rep airs.html ) This latest announcement of a further increase in the estimated cost of the repairs, together with more "technical" problems being uncovered again throws into doubt the completion date and consequently the return of Weymouth's major employer. Had Weymouth and Portland Borough Council allowed Condor to operate from Portland while the repairs were carried out, this present uncertainty would have been avoided. The repairs could have been completed while Condor remained in Portland, but the decision to prevent the ferry operator making that short move while the repairs were carried out, on the grounds that "the increase in traffic through the town (Weymouth), would cause severe congestion on the new improved road system for Olympic Games visitors", is (another) bad decision that the Council and its members will ultimately regret. ThomasFairfax
  • Score: 12

7:19am Tue 13 May 14

ThomasFairfax says...

And finally, I wrote on the 5th October 2012, the following:
Yesterday, I commented on a story in the "Dorset Echo" which questioned the return of Condor Ferries to their Weymouth operation.

"From conversations I have had with people who work for Condor, it seems to me that this story has some credibility. I under stand that the work on rebuilding the quay at Weymouth is far from completion, and the March return date looks very uncertain. Add to the is the fact that Poole council are making very strong representations to Condor to remain in Poole, a return to the Weymouth operation seems less and less likely."

Today, Friday 5th October 2012, Dorset Echo carries this story of the repairs not being completed until May 2013 "at the earliest". It seems to me that Weymouth has seen the last of the Condor Ferry operations from the town, together with the employment and financial benefits that this employer provides both directly, and indirectly in terms of travelers visiting the town. Weymouth and Portland Council are not blameless in this story. Prevarication, indecision and ineptitude litter the route to where we are today. The decision to prevent Condor operating from Portland while the repairs to the ferry terminal were carried out, on the grounds that "the increase in traffic through the town (Weymouth), would cause severe congestion on the new improved road system for Olympic Games visitors" is a lamentable example of how a theoretically intelligent elected body can be so naive. As far as the Olympics (and other decisions) are concerned, Weymouth and Portland Council can have few toes left after so many examples of "shooting themselves in the foot". I have had differences of view with Condor ferries over the years, but in this instance if they were to make a corporate decision, (assuming they have not yet already done so), to sever all links with Weymouth, it would not surprise me at all, and I would fully support their action.
And finally, I wrote on the 5th October 2012, the following: Yesterday, I commented on a story in the "Dorset Echo" which questioned the return of Condor Ferries to their Weymouth operation. "From conversations I have had with people who work for Condor, it seems to me that this story has some credibility. I under stand that the work on rebuilding the quay at Weymouth is far from completion, and the March return date looks very uncertain. Add to the is the fact that Poole council are making very strong representations to Condor to remain in Poole, a return to the Weymouth operation seems less and less likely." Today, Friday 5th October 2012, Dorset Echo carries this story of the repairs not being completed until May 2013 "at the earliest". It seems to me that Weymouth has seen the last of the Condor Ferry operations from the town, together with the employment and financial benefits that this employer provides both directly, and indirectly in terms of travelers visiting the town. Weymouth and Portland Council are not blameless in this story. Prevarication, indecision and ineptitude litter the route to where we are today. The decision to prevent Condor operating from Portland while the repairs to the ferry terminal were carried out, on the grounds that "the increase in traffic through the town (Weymouth), would cause severe congestion on the new improved road system for Olympic Games visitors" is a lamentable example of how a theoretically intelligent elected body can be so naive. As far as the Olympics (and other decisions) are concerned, Weymouth and Portland Council can have few toes left after so many examples of "shooting themselves in the foot". I have had differences of view with Condor ferries over the years, but in this instance if they were to make a corporate decision, (assuming they have not yet already done so), to sever all links with Weymouth, it would not surprise me at all, and I would fully support their action. ThomasFairfax
  • Score: 6

7:24am Tue 13 May 14

Seb Baker says...

Great. We've got councillor Ian Roebuck negotiating on our behalf. What could go wrong?! :-/
Great. We've got councillor Ian Roebuck negotiating on our behalf. What could go wrong?! :-/ Seb Baker
  • Score: 18

7:35am Tue 13 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

Like i keep saying, ferry company Comdor really do think that they're the masters, and everyone else will bend over backwards to accommodate them, whatever they wish to do. I suppose this attitude comes from having a monopoly on ferry services to the Channel Islands. But people never take any notice of this, because they're the Council is a bunch of muppets, and so everything is always their fault.
Like i keep saying, ferry company Comdor really do think that they're the masters, and everyone else will bend over backwards to accommodate them, whatever they wish to do. I suppose this attitude comes from having a monopoly on ferry services to the Channel Islands. But people never take any notice of this, because they're the Council is a bunch of muppets, and so everything is always their fault. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 13

7:39am Tue 13 May 14

ThomasFairfax says...

The purpose of the previous 3 posts, is essentially to point out that "The writing has been on the wall for almost three years, but nobody chose to read it".
(http://new-agenda20
12.blogspot.co.uk/20
14/04/the-writing-ha
s-been-on-wall-for-a
lmost.html)
The whole wretched tale of Condor, Weymouth Ferry Terminal and the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, has been a catalogue of misjudgements, bad decisions and ineptitude by the Council (who have it seems, taken the relationship with Condor for granted), brinkmanship, bluff and calculation from Condor and an apparent indifference by the public, who have shown little interest in the matter until now, when in fact it may be too late to effect the outcome.
Condor are a business, who will make decisions based on their assessment of the company needs and future benefits. They have no commitment to Weymouth, or anywhere else, except in the sense of today's business requirements and that may change tomorrow.
Weymouth Council have been are naive in the extreme throughout this saga in expecting anything otherwise from Condor and believing that they as the owners of the ferry terminal, hold all the cards.
Perhaps even now something may be salvaged from the mess, albeit that as at the time of writing this post, there seems little prospect of a solution.
If the matter is not resolved, Weymouth will be the big time loser.
The purpose of the previous 3 posts, is essentially to point out that "The writing has been on the wall for almost three years, but nobody chose to read it". (http://new-agenda20 12.blogspot.co.uk/20 14/04/the-writing-ha s-been-on-wall-for-a lmost.html) The whole wretched tale of Condor, Weymouth Ferry Terminal and the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, has been a catalogue of misjudgements, bad decisions and ineptitude by the Council (who have it seems, taken the relationship with Condor for granted), brinkmanship, bluff and calculation from Condor and an apparent indifference by the public, who have shown little interest in the matter until now, when in fact it may be too late to effect the outcome. Condor are a business, who will make decisions based on their assessment of the company needs and future benefits. They have no commitment to Weymouth, or anywhere else, except in the sense of today's business requirements and that may change tomorrow. Weymouth Council have been are naive in the extreme throughout this saga in expecting anything otherwise from Condor and believing that they as the owners of the ferry terminal, hold all the cards. Perhaps even now something may be salvaged from the mess, albeit that as at the time of writing this post, there seems little prospect of a solution. If the matter is not resolved, Weymouth will be the big time loser. ThomasFairfax
  • Score: 16

7:41am Tue 13 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

Anyway, the main service is, and has been for many many years, from Poole; Weymouth is really just to provide an alternative in case of problems with the main service from Poole. Now assuming that there'll just be one of these new craft, surely they'd use it on the main service, from Poole? So why couldn't they just continue to use one of the older craft from Weymouth? They'd surely need more than one vessel to maintain the current service pattern, unless they went back to the old schedule of an early morning sailing from Weymouth, back from Jersey to Poole and back, then back to Weymouth late at night. So would spending 10 mill really be justified for one arrival and one departure a day?
Anyway, the main service is, and has been for many many years, from Poole; Weymouth is really just to provide an alternative in case of problems with the main service from Poole. Now assuming that there'll just be one of these new craft, surely they'd use it on the main service, from Poole? So why couldn't they just continue to use one of the older craft from Weymouth? They'd surely need more than one vessel to maintain the current service pattern, unless they went back to the old schedule of an early morning sailing from Weymouth, back from Jersey to Poole and back, then back to Weymouth late at night. So would spending 10 mill really be justified for one arrival and one departure a day? arlbergbahn
  • Score: 7

7:59am Tue 13 May 14

Get a grip says...

So condor would not give the Echo a firm commitment hardly surprising.

I would like the Echo asking the council a few difficult questions about how they are happy to spend £4 million.
So condor would not give the Echo a firm commitment hardly surprising. I would like the Echo asking the council a few difficult questions about how they are happy to spend £4 million. Get a grip
  • Score: 16

7:59am Tue 13 May 14

MrTomSmith says...

Sign a petition to keep this lot............no chance. They won't answer questions put to them by the Paper that is trying to keep them here........LOL what a joke it really is. Tell them no chance you can have Berth 1 and be done with it. I don't want 10 Million of Tax money going towards this, where is the petition for that? If there is one I will sign it.

Council FIND out what the people want.

Echo you could do a bit of checking as well, people I speak to don't want more money spent. Now I know some do want to keep it, yes in a perfect world that would be great. Are these people signing this petition.

The petition is SO FALSE, because it doesn't mention anything about the 10 Million costs. Trying so hard to please them but giving US all a false impression.

When is anyone going to tell us the truth here? Sign a petition pleading for them stay, no chance.

I tell whoever wrote that petition is really letting the public down it is a load of rubbish. Written in five minutes on the back of a fag packet it would seem with no thought at all. Its dreadful.
Sign a petition to keep this lot............no chance. They won't answer questions put to them by the Paper that is trying to keep them here........LOL what a joke it really is. Tell them no chance you can have Berth 1 and be done with it. I don't want 10 Million of Tax money going towards this, where is the petition for that? If there is one I will sign it. Council FIND out what the people want. Echo you could do a bit of checking as well, people I speak to don't want more money spent. Now I know some do want to keep it, yes in a perfect world that would be great. Are these people signing this petition. The petition is SO FALSE, because it doesn't mention anything about the 10 Million costs. Trying so hard to please them but giving US all a false impression. When is anyone going to tell us the truth here? Sign a petition pleading for them stay, no chance. I tell whoever wrote that petition is really letting the public down it is a load of rubbish. Written in five minutes on the back of a fag packet it would seem with no thought at all. Its dreadful. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 12

9:18am Tue 13 May 14

Sean1991 says...

Is it worth it? You can't even have a day trip to Jersey any more, an hour & that's all! What good is that?
Is it worth it? You can't even have a day trip to Jersey any more, an hour & that's all! What good is that? Sean1991
  • Score: 22

10:11am Tue 13 May 14

burgerboy says...

POOLE "Its a beautiful place......For Condor it is anyway.(;o)
POOLE "Its a beautiful place......For Condor it is anyway.(;o) burgerboy
  • Score: 25

11:31am Tue 13 May 14

weymouthfox says...

I have no faith that our hapless councillors know what they are doing and Condor will be operating out of Poole all the time soon. Unless of course Portland Port pll thei fingers out and put in a linkspan. This would be the ideal situation, but our foolish councillors can't see it.
I have no faith that our hapless councillors know what they are doing and Condor will be operating out of Poole all the time soon. Unless of course Portland Port pll thei fingers out and put in a linkspan. This would be the ideal situation, but our foolish councillors can't see it. weymouthfox
  • Score: 19

11:51am Tue 13 May 14

Mindblower says...

Looks as though the deal to buy the new huge trimaran craft is as good as done. See article from The Australian:-

Four years on, a buyer for Austal's upmarket ferry

SARAH-JANE TASKER
The Australian
January 07, 2014 12:00AM

SHIPBUILDER Austal has finally sold a luxurious 102m vessel to a European ferry operator -- four years after it first launched the ship.

The company announced yesterday it had signed an option-to-purchase contract with a European ferry operator for its Austal Hull 270, the 102m trimaran stock vessel.
Looks as though the deal to buy the new huge trimaran craft is as good as done. See article from The Australian:- Four years on, a buyer for Austal's upmarket ferry SARAH-JANE TASKER The Australian January 07, 2014 12:00AM SHIPBUILDER Austal has finally sold a luxurious 102m vessel to a European ferry operator -- four years after it first launched the ship. The company announced yesterday it had signed an option-to-purchase contract with a European ferry operator for its Austal Hull 270, the 102m trimaran stock vessel. Mindblower
  • Score: 2

12:26pm Tue 13 May 14

irisred says...

Can they not move to Portland instead? If its big enough to take cruise liners, its big enough to take a larger Condor vessel surely?
Can they not move to Portland instead? If its big enough to take cruise liners, its big enough to take a larger Condor vessel surely? irisred
  • Score: 3

12:50pm Tue 13 May 14

MrTomSmith says...

irisred wrote:
Can they not move to Portland instead? If its big enough to take cruise liners, its big enough to take a larger Condor vessel surely?
There is a bit more to it than that, but and you can be sure if it was viable then any port would take business. How much it would cost to get Portland in a position to take a Ferry (completely different from a Ship) I have no idea. But it must have been investigated. The other problem is the access by road, now there are different opinions on this, and I can see arguments for and against the access being suitable. But it''s not what we think, it is what the Condor Exec's think as to if the additional travel time by road would effect tickets sales. So I think the answer yes they could in theory but would it is financial viable. That is very complicated guess.
[quote][p][bold]irisred[/bold] wrote: Can they not move to Portland instead? If its big enough to take cruise liners, its big enough to take a larger Condor vessel surely?[/p][/quote]There is a bit more to it than that, but and you can be sure if it was viable then any port would take business. How much it would cost to get Portland in a position to take a Ferry (completely different from a Ship) I have no idea. But it must have been investigated. The other problem is the access by road, now there are different opinions on this, and I can see arguments for and against the access being suitable. But it''s not what we think, it is what the Condor Exec's think as to if the additional travel time by road would effect tickets sales. So I think the answer yes they could in theory but would it is financial viable. That is very complicated guess. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 6

1:02pm Tue 13 May 14

trymybest says...

The word HONESTY is very much lacking in this fiasco.
The word HONESTY is very much lacking in this fiasco. trymybest
  • Score: 10

1:06pm Tue 13 May 14

Micke12 says...

And still no word from the council about this so called 15 year contract that was supposed to have been signed as part of the upgrade to berth no.3.

I and probably most of the people who have half a brain in this town, call on both the council and the echo to dig in and bring that contract to the public immediately or state that it was never signed, in which case, both the officers and all the councillors should resign immediately for gross misconduct in public office.

As for this thing about Condor needing berth no.1, so be it, but they should pay for it, particularly if they knew at the time that berth no.3 was being repaired, that it was a short term repair.

How much damage will the sandbanks do to this lovely new vessel going in and out of Poole day in day out, compared to straight in and out from Weymouth. Couple to that the extra fuel costs of running from Poole as compared Weymouth. They will have to move slower out of Poole due to Sandbanks and Brownsea Island, making the journey time longer and using more fuel at a less that efficient speed. The distance from Poole to St Helier is 121.6 miles, whereas Weymouth to St Helier 118.4 Miles. If we then add on the distance between the mainland Poole and Guernsey, the expense for fuel is soon mounting up to the point where in about 5 years, Condor will be making a loss compared with paying the £10M cost of the works on berth no.1.

I think that the important thing here though, is did Condor know that they were going to need to use berth no.1 before the repairs to berth no.3 were carried out. If they did, then why did they not use their brain cells to say to the council, we will need berth no.1 soon anyhow, so why not do that now instead of berth no.3, and then they could have used berth no.1 when they resumed sailing last July.

All in all, this has been a massive debacle from start to finish, with, it would seem, the blind leading the blind across a a high speed motor racing circuit.

ONE ALMIGHTY ****-UP all round.
And still no word from the council about this so called 15 year contract that was supposed to have been signed as part of the upgrade to berth no.3. I and probably most of the people who have half a brain in this town, call on both the council and the echo to dig in and bring that contract to the public immediately or state that it was never signed, in which case, both the officers and all the councillors should resign immediately for gross misconduct in public office. As for this thing about Condor needing berth no.1, so be it, but they should pay for it, particularly if they knew at the time that berth no.3 was being repaired, that it was a short term repair. How much damage will the sandbanks do to this lovely new vessel going in and out of Poole day in day out, compared to straight in and out from Weymouth. Couple to that the extra fuel costs of running from Poole as compared Weymouth. They will have to move slower out of Poole due to Sandbanks and Brownsea Island, making the journey time longer and using more fuel at a less that efficient speed. The distance from Poole to St Helier is 121.6 miles, whereas Weymouth to St Helier 118.4 Miles. If we then add on the distance between the mainland Poole and Guernsey, the expense for fuel is soon mounting up to the point where in about 5 years, Condor will be making a loss compared with paying the £10M cost of the works on berth no.1. I think that the important thing here though, is did Condor know that they were going to need to use berth no.1 before the repairs to berth no.3 were carried out. If they did, then why did they not use their brain cells to say to the council, we will need berth no.1 soon anyhow, so why not do that now instead of berth no.3, and then they could have used berth no.1 when they resumed sailing last July. All in all, this has been a massive debacle from start to finish, with, it would seem, the blind leading the blind across a a high speed motor racing circuit. ONE ALMIGHTY ****-UP all round. Micke12
  • Score: 6

1:24pm Tue 13 May 14

arlbergbahn says...

irisred wrote:
Can they not move to Portland instead? If its big enough to take cruise liners, its big enough to take a larger Condor vessel surely?
well, they'd have to build a ro/ro berth and all the associated facilities as well, not to mention facilities for access to the berth for cars & so on. And of course, as it's run by a private company, they'd get the revenue, so this much vaunted 7 Million a year would still be lost to weymouth.
[quote][p][bold]irisred[/bold] wrote: Can they not move to Portland instead? If its big enough to take cruise liners, its big enough to take a larger Condor vessel surely?[/p][/quote]well, they'd have to build a ro/ro berth and all the associated facilities as well, not to mention facilities for access to the berth for cars & so on. And of course, as it's run by a private company, they'd get the revenue, so this much vaunted 7 Million a year would still be lost to weymouth. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 6

1:24pm Tue 13 May 14

rjimmer says...

Is there enough parking space to accommodate an extra 75 vehicles per sailing?
Is there enough parking space to accommodate an extra 75 vehicles per sailing? rjimmer
  • Score: 7

2:30pm Tue 13 May 14

MrTomSmith says...

rjimmer wrote:
Is there enough parking space to accommodate an extra 75 vehicles per sailing?
Doubt it, So its going to cost 10 Million (with 3 Million wasted) we will lose revenue for 2 Years and we the extra vehicles as well. Sounds like the perfect deal!!!

Vote UKIP Vote No to bigger Ferries.
[quote][p][bold]rjimmer[/bold] wrote: Is there enough parking space to accommodate an extra 75 vehicles per sailing?[/p][/quote]Doubt it, So its going to cost 10 Million (with 3 Million wasted) we will lose revenue for 2 Years and we the extra vehicles as well. Sounds like the perfect deal!!! Vote UKIP Vote No to bigger Ferries. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 12

4:36pm Tue 13 May 14

WykeReg says...

What follows can easily be dismissed as irrelevant, but before you do that, spend a moment comparing the quality of the thinking and planning that needs to go into major projects with what's going on in Weymouth.

As the Panama Canal upgrade nears completion and much larger container ships will be accommodated, there is a redevelopment frenzy going on at major US ports from Miami to New York. Miami alone is spending several billion dollars to dredge out deeper berths, install additional container-handling gear, and construct a huge tunnel under the city allowing freight trains with double-decked containers on the rail-cars as well as a road for trucks to reach the container port. In New York, a bridge is going to be raised to permit these new ships to pass.

The thinking is what matters rather than the scale and costs of these projects. If it is good for the economy of the city and for the country then it must be done. Money will be found and ingenuity will do the rest.

I know Weymouth isn't a major city, but at least we could have some inspired thinking now and then, couldn't we? Does living on a small island entitle us to have small minds?
What follows can easily be dismissed as irrelevant, but before you do that, spend a moment comparing the quality of the thinking and planning that needs to go into major projects with what's going on in Weymouth. As the Panama Canal upgrade nears completion and much larger container ships will be accommodated, there is a redevelopment frenzy going on at major US ports from Miami to New York. Miami alone is spending several billion dollars to dredge out deeper berths, install additional container-handling gear, and construct a huge tunnel under the city allowing freight trains with double-decked containers on the rail-cars as well as a road for trucks to reach the container port. In New York, a bridge is going to be raised to permit these new ships to pass. The thinking is what matters rather than the scale and costs of these projects. If it is good for the economy of the city and for the country then it must be done. Money will be found and ingenuity will do the rest. I know Weymouth isn't a major city, but at least we could have some inspired thinking now and then, couldn't we? Does living on a small island entitle us to have small minds? WykeReg
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Tue 13 May 14

trymybest says...

Why not give Condor berth 1 or what every on a free lease for 50 years, give them a free hand to develop the area and we can improve the town roads around the sea front so that all the traffic from their vessel can have a quick exit out off Weymouth, (which is what Condor have already asked for) and watch them choke on their porrage. Or we could tell them to take a hike back to Poole.
Why not give Condor berth 1 or what every on a free lease for 50 years, give them a free hand to develop the area and we can improve the town roads around the sea front so that all the traffic from their vessel can have a quick exit out off Weymouth, (which is what Condor have already asked for) and watch them choke on their porrage. Or we could tell them to take a hike back to Poole. trymybest
  • Score: 8

7:16pm Tue 13 May 14

oldbrock says...

PHonnor wrote:
If Condor prefer to use weymouth because of its easy access could they not be asked to make a contribution to the cost of works? I think the burning question the public has the right to know is wether the council knew about this before 4 million of their money was spent and what commitment did the council get from Condor before proceeding?
like the KINGS LYNN incinerator, the council, in their clever dictatorial way, signed up with the firm to build it, committed, then the residents kicked off, after, years of wrangling, its been cancelled, the residents now have to find £30 MILLION to pay the firm off, the COUNTY COUNCIL are now trying to trick other towns into paying in to this debacle, since when did public servants become POCKET DICTATORS and when will we be able to get our FREEDOM back?????
[quote][p][bold]PHonnor[/bold] wrote: If Condor prefer to use weymouth because of its easy access could they not be asked to make a contribution to the cost of works? I think the burning question the public has the right to know is wether the council knew about this before 4 million of their money was spent and what commitment did the council get from Condor before proceeding?[/p][/quote]like the KINGS LYNN incinerator, the council, in their clever dictatorial way, signed up with the firm to build it, committed, then the residents kicked off, after, years of wrangling, its been cancelled, the residents now have to find £30 MILLION to pay the firm off, the COUNTY COUNCIL are now trying to trick other towns into paying in to this debacle, since when did public servants become POCKET DICTATORS and when will we be able to get our FREEDOM back????? oldbrock
  • Score: 4

8:30pm Tue 13 May 14

ksmain says...

ThomasFairfax wrote:
The purpose of the previous 3 posts, is essentially to point out that "The writing has been on the wall for almost three years, but nobody chose to read it".
(http://new-agenda20

12.blogspot.co.uk/20

14/04/the-writing-ha

s-been-on-wall-for-a

lmost.html)
The whole wretched tale of Condor, Weymouth Ferry Terminal and the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, has been a catalogue of misjudgements, bad decisions and ineptitude by the Council (who have it seems, taken the relationship with Condor for granted), brinkmanship, bluff and calculation from Condor and an apparent indifference by the public, who have shown little interest in the matter until now, when in fact it may be too late to effect the outcome.
Condor are a business, who will make decisions based on their assessment of the company needs and future benefits. They have no commitment to Weymouth, or anywhere else, except in the sense of today's business requirements and that may change tomorrow.
Weymouth Council have been are naive in the extreme throughout this saga in expecting anything otherwise from Condor and believing that they as the owners of the ferry terminal, hold all the cards.
Perhaps even now something may be salvaged from the mess, albeit that as at the time of writing this post, there seems little prospect of a solution.
If the matter is not resolved, Weymouth will be the big time loser.
Anyone that has lived here 50 years will ultimately be aware that Weymouth Council have little business acumen to know what is good for Weymouth IMO - there are frequent instances of rubbish decisions that have cost this town dearly.

I watched a program about Niagara Falls USA recently and how it had fallen by the wayside and lost half it's population, as opposed to the boomtowm of Niagara Falls Canada 2 miles across the river due to rubbish decisions and failure to engage developers in the appropriate manner. I couldn't help compare it to the Weymouth - Dorchester scenario.
[quote][p][bold]ThomasFairfax[/bold] wrote: The purpose of the previous 3 posts, is essentially to point out that "The writing has been on the wall for almost three years, but nobody chose to read it". (http://new-agenda20 12.blogspot.co.uk/20 14/04/the-writing-ha s-been-on-wall-for-a lmost.html) The whole wretched tale of Condor, Weymouth Ferry Terminal and the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, has been a catalogue of misjudgements, bad decisions and ineptitude by the Council (who have it seems, taken the relationship with Condor for granted), brinkmanship, bluff and calculation from Condor and an apparent indifference by the public, who have shown little interest in the matter until now, when in fact it may be too late to effect the outcome. Condor are a business, who will make decisions based on their assessment of the company needs and future benefits. They have no commitment to Weymouth, or anywhere else, except in the sense of today's business requirements and that may change tomorrow. Weymouth Council have been are naive in the extreme throughout this saga in expecting anything otherwise from Condor and believing that they as the owners of the ferry terminal, hold all the cards. Perhaps even now something may be salvaged from the mess, albeit that as at the time of writing this post, there seems little prospect of a solution. If the matter is not resolved, Weymouth will be the big time loser.[/p][/quote]Anyone that has lived here 50 years will ultimately be aware that Weymouth Council have little business acumen to know what is good for Weymouth IMO - there are frequent instances of rubbish decisions that have cost this town dearly. I watched a program about Niagara Falls USA recently and how it had fallen by the wayside and lost half it's population, as opposed to the boomtowm of Niagara Falls Canada 2 miles across the river due to rubbish decisions and failure to engage developers in the appropriate manner. I couldn't help compare it to the Weymouth - Dorchester scenario. ksmain
  • Score: 6

8:58pm Tue 13 May 14

JamesYoung says...

I think there is a lot of wrong thinking in these responses.
1. If there was a contract in place between WPBC and Condor, the chances are that it said that WPBC was responsible for maintaining the berth. Therefore, when it required repairs, Condor would realistically expect the council to provide these repairs, regardless of whether they had a long term commitment to the town or not;
2. Condor are making decisions based on what is commercially reasonable. Not unreasonably, they are playing their cards close to their chest whilst they decide the way forward.
3. Condor will have done their sums. That extra fuel cost is clearly not enough to justify remaining in the town, neither are they concerned about it ruining them
4. Talk of a petition is time wasted. Condor makes money from passengers, not from people in Weymouth. If their customers are not telling them that they prefer driving to Weymouth, why would they have any interest in remaining here?
5. If you ran a business like Condor's, would you pick Poole - which is relatively well connected to fast roads and is fairly central - or Weymouth?
Sadly, this has probably been on the cards for years. I don't think there is anything the Council could reasonably have done about it; it's just a consequence of living in an area with such poor road infrastructure.
I think there is a lot of wrong thinking in these responses. 1. If there was a contract in place between WPBC and Condor, the chances are that it said that WPBC was responsible for maintaining the berth. Therefore, when it required repairs, Condor would realistically expect the council to provide these repairs, regardless of whether they had a long term commitment to the town or not; 2. Condor are making decisions based on what is commercially reasonable. Not unreasonably, they are playing their cards close to their chest whilst they decide the way forward. 3. Condor will have done their sums. That extra fuel cost is clearly not enough to justify remaining in the town, neither are they concerned about it ruining them 4. Talk of a petition is time wasted. Condor makes money from passengers, not from people in Weymouth. If their customers are not telling them that they prefer driving to Weymouth, why would they have any interest in remaining here? 5. If you ran a business like Condor's, would you pick Poole - which is relatively well connected to fast roads and is fairly central - or Weymouth? Sadly, this has probably been on the cards for years. I don't think there is anything the Council could reasonably have done about it; it's just a consequence of living in an area with such poor road infrastructure. JamesYoung
  • Score: 6

9:26pm Tue 13 May 14

Parkstreetshufle says...

This whole situation stinks like a dead rat.
Who the hell wants to go to the Channel Islands? They exist as a tax haven. That's the one and only reason they are habited.
Jersey - let alone Gurnsey has a pretty well developed financial district. It's like a mini London. On a poxy set of barren rocky Islands right next to France.
The only people interested in going to the Islands are islanders. They want a better birth - pay for it it or go to Poole and let them sort it.
What does the local economy get from the deal, a few jobs. How many people are based in Weymouth? ten? Is that worth the outlay of millions? not likely...
This whole situation stinks like a dead rat. Who the hell wants to go to the Channel Islands? They exist as a tax haven. That's the one and only reason they are habited. Jersey - let alone Gurnsey has a pretty well developed financial district. It's like a mini London. On a poxy set of barren rocky Islands right next to France. The only people interested in going to the Islands are islanders. They want a better birth - pay for it it or go to Poole and let them sort it. What does the local economy get from the deal, a few jobs. How many people are based in Weymouth? ten? Is that worth the outlay of millions? not likely... Parkstreetshufle
  • Score: -7

10:40pm Tue 13 May 14

Caption Sensible says...

JamesYoung wrote:
I think there is a lot of wrong thinking in these responses.
1. If there was a contract in place between WPBC and Condor, the chances are that it said that WPBC was responsible for maintaining the berth. Therefore, when it required repairs, Condor would realistically expect the council to provide these repairs, regardless of whether they had a long term commitment to the town or not;
2. Condor are making decisions based on what is commercially reasonable. Not unreasonably, they are playing their cards close to their chest whilst they decide the way forward.
3. Condor will have done their sums. That extra fuel cost is clearly not enough to justify remaining in the town, neither are they concerned about it ruining them
4. Talk of a petition is time wasted. Condor makes money from passengers, not from people in Weymouth. If their customers are not telling them that they prefer driving to Weymouth, why would they have any interest in remaining here?
5. If you ran a business like Condor's, would you pick Poole - which is relatively well connected to fast roads and is fairly central - or Weymouth?
Sadly, this has probably been on the cards for years. I don't think there is anything the Council could reasonably have done about it; it's just a consequence of living in an area with such poor road infrastructure.
I think you hit the nail on the head with your last statement "... such poor road infrastructure".

How many firms, businesses, companies, services, facilities, people, do we need to lose before this finally sinks in with the those who are supposed to represent the area? A dual carriageway east to west and south to north is required without delay.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: I think there is a lot of wrong thinking in these responses. 1. If there was a contract in place between WPBC and Condor, the chances are that it said that WPBC was responsible for maintaining the berth. Therefore, when it required repairs, Condor would realistically expect the council to provide these repairs, regardless of whether they had a long term commitment to the town or not; 2. Condor are making decisions based on what is commercially reasonable. Not unreasonably, they are playing their cards close to their chest whilst they decide the way forward. 3. Condor will have done their sums. That extra fuel cost is clearly not enough to justify remaining in the town, neither are they concerned about it ruining them 4. Talk of a petition is time wasted. Condor makes money from passengers, not from people in Weymouth. If their customers are not telling them that they prefer driving to Weymouth, why would they have any interest in remaining here? 5. If you ran a business like Condor's, would you pick Poole - which is relatively well connected to fast roads and is fairly central - or Weymouth? Sadly, this has probably been on the cards for years. I don't think there is anything the Council could reasonably have done about it; it's just a consequence of living in an area with such poor road infrastructure.[/p][/quote]I think you hit the nail on the head with your last statement "... such poor road infrastructure". How many firms, businesses, companies, services, facilities, people, do we need to lose before this finally sinks in with the those who are supposed to represent the area? A dual carriageway east to west and south to north is required without delay. Caption Sensible
  • Score: 1

10:57am Wed 14 May 14

trymybest says...

trymybest wrote:
Why not give Condor berth 1 or what every on a free lease for 50 years, give them a free hand to develop the area and we can improve the town roads around the sea front so that all the traffic from their vessel can have a quick exit out off Weymouth, (which is what Condor have already asked for) and watch them choke on their porrage. Or we could tell them to take a hike back to Poole.
No matter what you offer Condor it won't be enough, the truth is they don't want to be in Weymouth or Portland.
[quote][p][bold]trymybest[/bold] wrote: Why not give Condor berth 1 or what every on a free lease for 50 years, give them a free hand to develop the area and we can improve the town roads around the sea front so that all the traffic from their vessel can have a quick exit out off Weymouth, (which is what Condor have already asked for) and watch them choke on their porrage. Or we could tell them to take a hike back to Poole.[/p][/quote]No matter what you offer Condor it won't be enough, the truth is they don't want to be in Weymouth or Portland. trymybest
  • Score: 1

11:50am Wed 14 May 14

JamesYoung says...

Caption Sensible wrote:
JamesYoung wrote: I think there is a lot of wrong thinking in these responses. 1. If there was a contract in place between WPBC and Condor, the chances are that it said that WPBC was responsible for maintaining the berth. Therefore, when it required repairs, Condor would realistically expect the council to provide these repairs, regardless of whether they had a long term commitment to the town or not; 2. Condor are making decisions based on what is commercially reasonable. Not unreasonably, they are playing their cards close to their chest whilst they decide the way forward. 3. Condor will have done their sums. That extra fuel cost is clearly not enough to justify remaining in the town, neither are they concerned about it ruining them 4. Talk of a petition is time wasted. Condor makes money from passengers, not from people in Weymouth. If their customers are not telling them that they prefer driving to Weymouth, why would they have any interest in remaining here? 5. If you ran a business like Condor's, would you pick Poole - which is relatively well connected to fast roads and is fairly central - or Weymouth? Sadly, this has probably been on the cards for years. I don't think there is anything the Council could reasonably have done about it; it's just a consequence of living in an area with such poor road infrastructure.I think you hit the nail on the head with your last statement "... such poor road infrastructureI fully agree, but it will be resisted at every turn by people who are fortunate enough not to have jobs that depend on fast access.
Now the brown route is built, nobody is complaining any more. It is perfectly possible these days to minimise environmental impact and as has been shown in the story of everything from buzzards to urban foxes, wildlife and man can live in harmony together if the right provisions are made in the design.
[quote][p][bold]Caption Sensible[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: I think there is a lot of wrong thinking in these responses. 1. If there was a contract in place between WPBC and Condor, the chances are that it said that WPBC was responsible for maintaining the berth. Therefore, when it required repairs, Condor would realistically expect the council to provide these repairs, regardless of whether they had a long term commitment to the town or not; 2. Condor are making decisions based on what is commercially reasonable. Not unreasonably, they are playing their cards close to their chest whilst they decide the way forward. 3. Condor will have done their sums. That extra fuel cost is clearly not enough to justify remaining in the town, neither are they concerned about it ruining them 4. Talk of a petition is time wasted. Condor makes money from passengers, not from people in Weymouth. If their customers are not telling them that they prefer driving to Weymouth, why would they have any interest in remaining here? 5. If you ran a business like Condor's, would you pick Poole - which is relatively well connected to fast roads and is fairly central - or Weymouth? Sadly, this has probably been on the cards for years. I don't think there is anything the Council could reasonably have done about it; it's just a consequence of living in an area with such poor road infrastructure.[/p][/quote]I think you hit the nail on the head with your last statement "... such poor road infrastructureI fully agree, but it will be resisted at every turn by people who are fortunate enough not to have jobs that depend on fast access. Now the brown route is built, nobody is complaining any more. It is perfectly possible these days to minimise environmental impact and as has been shown in the story of everything from buzzards to urban foxes, wildlife and man can live in harmony together if the right provisions are made in the design. JamesYoung
  • Score: 2

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