Ferry changes may raise prices

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The Independent Online
THE GOVERNMENT yesterday revealed tighter shipping safety rules which are likely to affect nearly all the 100 roll-on, roll-off ferries using UK ports and force up ticket prices, writes Andrew Gliniecki. The rules, which will require modifications to ferries making them less likely to capsize following a collision at sea, start to come into effect in October 1994 for the least stable vessels.

Modifications could cost British fleets up to pounds 100m and affect revenue if payloads have to be reduced to meet the new standards. Ferry companies have warned of increased fares.

A Department of Transport spokesman said: 'This could mean increased fares, but what the consumer is paying for is a better standard of safety.'

Solas 90 standards, recognised by the International Maritime Organisation, require that a ferry can survive a collision which leaves a hole in its hull the size of a double-decker bus.