Maritime Minister Stephen Hammond visited the Port of Dover yesterday to meet the new Dover Harbour Board Chairman, George Jenkins, and the executive management team. He was joined by the local MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke.
This visit to the Port of Dover was his first opportunity to visit the UK's busiest passenger port since becoming the Maritime Minister and he said: "It is great to be given the opportunity to see how the Port operates and I'm very impressed by the staff who successfully run this busy port. The Port of Dover is not only of huge significance to the local community, but is also a vital international gateway, with some 12 million passengers and close to 2.4 million cars passing through its doors last year. In a changing environment the Port faces major challenges and yet continues to deliver excellent service 364 days a year. Many people will know the Port of Dover from having taken a trip as a passenger on a ferry to France, but that alone doesn't capture the sheer scale of the operation which continues to run quietly and efficiently here in the South East.
"Dover Harbour Board has a new Chairman and I'm pleased to see the Board tackling the issues at hand. Following the Minister of State's decision before Christmas not to approve the Dover Harbour Board's transfer scheme that would have allowed privatisation, it is now for the Board to consider all the available options for the long term future of the Port."
George Jenkins OBE, Chairman of Dover Harbour Board, said: "My Board colleagues, directors and all staff were delighted to welcome the Minister to the Port of Dover along with Charlie Elphicke MP and for the opportunity to demonstrate how Europe's busiest ferry port plans, develops and maintains major infrastructure to safely, sustainably and efficiently handle vehicles, passengers and freight essential to the national economy."