Expats power petition for new ferry link between UK and Portugal

Expats living in Portugal have mounted a petition to nudge Brittany Ferries into running a direct ferry link with the UK.

The company was understood to be ‘considering the link’ back in May (click here) – but nothing seems to have come of it, meaning anyone driving here has to take a ferry to Spain.

Now a group of expats has decided to ‘take the bull by the horns’. 

Their petition explains: “It’s clear from conversations with fellow expats, chat on various expat forums and Facebook groups that many currently travel by car/ ferry on the Portsmouth/ Plymouth to Santander/ Bilbao route. Upon arrival the Spanish authorities seem to be a law unto themselves, not interested in any kind of customer service. Given the choice people would prefer the ferry just to continue on to Portugal itself and cut out having to drive through Spain. 

“Please Brittany Ferries, listen to the needs of your customers, provide a direct service. No preference as to where, anywhere on the south coast of the UK to anywhere in Portugal. Remove the requirement to transit Spain. Conduct a survey of your current passengers, find out their final destination…”

Algarve resident Scott Reid, the power behind the effort, tells us: “We passed 1,000 signatures yesterday evening so I am now putting out tentative feelers through LinkedIn with people in relevant positions”.

Scott has “already had a reply from Paul Acheson, Group Director for Sales and Marketing, who says he is keen to establish such a route as long as it’s not loss making”.

This of course is the problem: the ferry would very possibly have to be seasonal. But there is clearly a demand for it. Comments on the petition site come from people who say they ‘regularly’ travel between the two countries, and a direct ferry would “cut travel time considerably”.

To sign the petition click here.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com