CONDOR Ferries has confirmed that it will leave Weymouth next spring, sailing its new super-ferry from Poole.
Its new larger high-speed ferry, the Austal 102, will sail from Poole instead after Weymouth’s Port was deemed unsuitable and requiring millions of pounds worth of investment to make it viable.
However, Condor has said that the arrangement with Poole Harbour is a “medium-term” arrangement to allow Weymouth and Portland Borough Council time to outline its plans for the port.
Condor will still operate the Vitesse vessel from Weymouth until Easter next year.
The Austal will replace the Vitesse and Condor Express on a single sailing from UK to the Channel Islands.
The latest acquisition to the Condor fleet follows a £50million investment by the company and will come into service in spring 2015.
James Fulford, Condor chief executive, said: “I am delighted to announce that we are now proud owners of the Austal 102. “This represents £50m of investment in our Islands and it will enable us to improve reliability, increase capacity, and give our guests a much greater level of comfort.
“We plan to introduce the 102 in spring 2015 and, in the months ahead, we will be sharing more details about this superb new ship and announcing ways in which Islanders can be involved in our preparations.”
Mr Fulford added: “Poole is a modern and well-connected port, well-liked by our customers.
“We recognise that this is disappointing news for Weymouth. However, given the need for berth improvements and an Environmental Impact Assessment, Weymouth is not currently in a position to accommodate the 102.
“Reaching a medium-term arrangement with Poole will give certainty to our customers, our Islands, and Poole Harbour Commissioners, whilst also allowing enough time for Weymouth & Portland Borough Council to establish their long term plans for their port.
“We will continue to operate Condor Vitesse from Weymouth until spring 2015, when we introduce the 102.”