A NEW ferry linking France and Spain launches today as the first Motorway of the Sea, a European Union project to take freight transport off the roads.
Operated by LD Lines, it offers a three-times-a-week service between Nantes/Saint-Nazaire in Brittany and Gijon in Asturias, northern Spain. The crossing takes 14 hours.
A special launch price allows a one-way crossing for a car and two passengers with a cabin at £79.
LD Lines managing director Christophe Santoni said the route provides a “unique landbridge between the UK and Northern Spain”, crossing via its Portsmouth-Le Havre or Newhaven-Dieppe routes and then on to Spain via Nantes/Saint-Nazaire.
Using the Norman Bridge ferry, which formerly served the Boulogne-Dover route; it will carry unaccompanied and accompanied freight vehicles and passengers.
Motorways of the Sea is a project to move traffic from the roads to sea, rail and inland waterways. It gives LD Lines a €30-million subsidy from France and Spain over four years.
The company plans to upgrade the service to a daily ferry, depending on demand.
Photo: LD LInes