cliff ledsom

Cliff Ledsom
19th January 2012, 16:16
Liverpool ports waiting on government cruise decision
Liverpool council authorities are still waiting on a decision from the government on whether cruise holidays can be allowed to start and end in the city.



Speaking in an interview with the BBC yesterday, Liverpool City Council leader Joe Anderson admitted he was angry that the decision was taking so long.



At present, Liverpool can only currently accept cruise stop-offs at the city's port, meaning the area misses out on a substantial amount of tourism trade.



The City Council applied for permission to allow cruises to start or end in the city last year and were originally assured that a decision would be made by the end of 2011.



However, opposition from Southampton, which currently hosts much of the cruise ship trade in the UK, saw the decision delayed, leading to Mr Anderson's angered response.



"This is now a restraint of trade issue - I believe, quite fairly and quite strongly, the government are restraining Liverpool from operating a facility that brings in jobs and money to the local economy," he said.



Southampton's main criticism focuses on the fact that public funding was given to the port back in 2007, under the agreement that it would not host cruise holidays.



Royal Caribbean Cruises has already moved to state it has no interest in using the Liverpool port, and will continue to base its cruise ships in Southampton