Steve Renews Campaign for Cruise Liner Turnaround Facility

(November 30, 2010)

Steve has renewed calls for a cruise liner turnaround facility at the Port of Liverpool.

Proposals for such a facility have been rejected by Government on the grounds that it would breach EU competition law.  The decision came following objections by the rival port of Southampton that because Liverpool’s terminal project received some £9 million European Funding towards its development, the proposed change of use to a ‘start and finish’ base would give it an unfair advantage.

But Steve and others – including North West MEP Brian Simpson, who chairs the European Parliament’s Transport Committee – believe this argument is "flimsy" and that it represents the Port of Southampton’s determination to maintain a near monopoly on the cruise liner sector. They maintain there is a case for the Office of Fair Trading or even the European Commission to investigate the matter.

“We cannot afford to simply give up on this,” said Steve.  “It’s too important to the future development of the city.  The economic benefits full turnaround facilities would bring to both Liverpool and the wider North West Region are immense.” 

Steve has tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to enter into talks with the relevant bodies and around fifty Members of Parliament have signalled their support.

“This is encouraging,” said Steve.  “We need a critical mass of support if we're to succeed in bringing pressure to bear.”  

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