Examination of Witnesses(Questions 296-299)|
TUESDAY 7 MAY 2002
296. Welcome to this unusual venue for the Select
Committee and our inquiry into transport in Wales. We thought
we would sample some of the transport in Wales which is why we
have come here and dragged you here as witnesses, but we are very
grateful to you and hope to find some information to add to our
own knowledge of transport in Wales. Perhaps you would introduce
(Captain Parry) I am the ship operations
and port manager for Stena Line at the port of Holyhead. Stena
Line are an international transport and travel company and one
of the world's largest ferry operators, operating 16 routes throughout
Europe in total. Stena Line Ports Limited is a subsidiary of Stena
Line and we own and operate three Irish sea ports, Stranraer,
Holyhead and Fishguard.
(Mr Mottram) I am corporate planning manager with
Irish Ferries. Irish Ferries would be the largest Irish ferry
company operating. We operate into Dublin-Holyhead and Rosslare-Pembroke.
(Mr Fenwick) I am port manager for Irish Ferries in
Holyhead. We commenced our services from the port of Holyhead
in 1982, and I have been there ever since.
(Mr Walker) I am UK operations manager for P&O
Irish Sea. We have 13 ships operating backwards and forwards across
the Irish Sea and have recently set up in the port of Mostyn in
(Mr Stephens) I am sales manager for P&O Irish
Sea responsible for England and Wales development.
Chairman: Thank you. There will be topics that
will be common to you all so do not feel you have to answer the
same question or give us the same answer. If one of you have given
an answer, that is fine. If, however, you have something else
to add, feel free to jump in on the question and also if you have
anything particular to your particular firm.
297. How significant do you think Wales' ferry
links are to the economies of Wales and Ireland and the United
Kingdom as a whole? I am thinking specifically in both labour
and financial terms, and how much do your various operations contribute,
do you feel, to the development of the local economy?
(Captain Parry) I will certainly answer the labour
questions. Directly I am speaking for Holyhead port and not the
shipsemploys in the region of 180 staff members directly.
Added to that obviously we have the various support unitsthe
garages, the various bus companies, etc, so I guess in total in
the port 250, I would say, are directly involved. I am not so
sure about the figures outside in the town but I know they had
a recent survey and I think they were talking about in the region
of 90 directly in the town centre, which is obviously very important
throughout the whole of Anglesey and North Wales as far as the
tourism aspect of our ferry operations are concerned.
(Mr Mottram) It would be extremely significant from
our point of view in that Ireland is on the periphery of Europe
and the ferries are the only link between Ireland and Wales; there
is no physical fixed link. Approximately 95 per cent of the trade
crosses the Irish Sea by sea, of which 46 per cent goes on the
short sea between Dublin and Holyhead and into Rosslare Pembroke
and Fishguard. In terms of labour, Irish Ferries directly employs
around 40 people in Holyhead and another 25 locals are employed
on the ships, and there would be ten people who would be employed
not directly but who would be used in terms of shuttle buses and
refreshment facilities in Holyhead. In Pembroke there are 14 direct
employees, and we help support through port dues and investment
the port of Milford Haven which employs 38 people, and again there
would be a number of people from the area employed on the ships.
In terms of the spin-off benefits to the local areas, that is
very hard to quantify. We know anecdotally that the money goes
into supermarkets, garages, vehicle maintenance, B&Bs and
hotels. Day trippers used to be a big spin-off as well but that
has been reduced through the abolition of duty free. I suppose
the impact would be tens of millions of pounds probably. We ourselves
carry 1.6 million passengers and with the other ferry companies,
if you add even a couple of pounds per head on to that, it is
going to be in the region of millions of pounds into the local
298. That is 1.6 million passengers?
(Mr Mottram) Yes, on our two routes from Rosslare
to Pembroke and from Dublin to Holyhead.
(Mr Walker) Staff, stevedores, hauliers, direct employees,
if you like, amount to 70 people and already we are starting to
see, although we have not been in Mostyn that long, a shift of
some customers. One particular haulier has just established his
base at the port of Mostyn and he employs twelve direct and we
expect more to follow, so it is a growth area for us in terms
of employment, and the spin-off is much the same as these other
gentlemen have statedit is local employment in terms of
fitters, suppliers and the local supermarket.
299. When you say "local", you mean
(Mr Walker) Yes. .