The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim has personally congratulated representatives from P&O Ferries after the firm celebrated its highest volume of freight traffic on its Larne to Cairnryan service in six years.
First Citizen Councillor Paul Reid visited the Port of Larne recently, where he was given a guided tour of the facilities.
The ferry and logistics company carried 210,533 lorries and trailers on its ships during the past year. The figure represents a 1.3 per cent increase on 2016 and is the best result since 2011.
Councillor Reid said: “It has been another fantastic 12 months for P&O Ferries and the Port of Larne.
“We are hugely grateful for the commitment to our Borough that P&O Ferries has demonstrated over the years and I have no doubt they will continue to go from strength to strength.
“Growing our economy is this Council’s number one strategic priority, and the success story that is P&O Ferries is excellent news for Mid and East Antrim and the ever-increasing role our Borough plays as the gateway to Northern Ireland.
“Mid and East Antrim benefits from our hugely strategic location within Northern Ireland. With close proximity to both major airports, the Port of Belfast and, of course, the Port of Larne itself, the area is ideally suited for commerce. These figures are testament to that, and the hard work of all those involved.
“I was delighted to be given the opportunity to personally congratulate those behind this success and wish them well for the future.”
Roger Armson, Head of Operations, Irish Sea for P&O Ferries and General Manager of Larne Port, said: “We are delighted with our 2017 figures that show the highest volume of freight traffic on our Larne-Cairnryan service in six years.
“We are committed to the long-term success of the Port and we work tirelessly to ensure that both leisure and freight passengers enjoy a first class experience to and from Larne Port.
“In recent years we have invested more than half a million pounds to improve berth facilities at MacKean Quay, traffic management flows for cars, and upgrading the Larne Terminal building layout and check-in facilities for those travelling from Cairnryan.
“We have also benefitted from the improvements to the A8 road that provides a high quality dual-carriageway link from the Port of Larne into the all-Ireland motorway network.
“We are always exploring new commercial opportunities and invest significant sums to nurture and grow tourism on both sides of the Irish Sea to ensure continued success at the Port of Larne.”
P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing 27,000 times a year on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium. It operates more than 20 vessels which carry 10 million passengers and 2.2 million freight units annually.
Photograph: Karen Hastings, the Council’s Investment and Place Manager; Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Council, Cllr Paul Reid; Kim Swan, P&O Ferries Head of Freight, Irish Sea; Anthony Van Damme, Harbour Master for Port of Larne; and Roger Armson, P&O Ferries Head of Operations, Irish Sea & General Manager of Larne Port.