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Reading the article in the May-June Telegraph ref P&O sackings has prompted me to write.

As a retired seafarer of 30+ years, MCA surveyor/examiner 14+ years and now instructor of STCW training courses, I wish to highlight the following.

When it was published in Jan 2019, I read [the UK government's policy document] Maritime 2050 with hope of change. As part of one course syllabus I have to talk about it to trainees but find it extremely difficult when I see there has been no progress toward implementation. I have written to the Department for Transport on this subject but only silence, nothing has come from it: no reply, no acknowledgement.

The perfect example of how little it is an agenda item for DfT is the arrival of P&O Pioneer, one of the first genuine, full size 'hybrid' ships. There have been no facilities made for the new vessels to charge at Dover or Calais.

The government, Dover Harbour Board and Calais chamber of commerce have known for two years that the new ships were ordered but nothing has been done to implement Maritime 2050 plans.

All the other hot air in the document seems to have been ignored: be the best, improve training, be a world leader, alternative fuels etc. Nothing at all; we have only seen cuts, cuts and more cuts.

Marine offices have so few surveyors they can barely keep afloat. Exams teams are unable to re-approve so many training courses so still allow training providers to just continue issuing certificates without any re-approvals.

DfT needs to get some momentum behind Maritime 2050 rather than just applying the brakes or apparently sweeping it under the carpet. It won't be long until five years have passed and yet nothing has come from this very important 'flagship' policy. More importantly the MCA, once the world's best, must be saved.

Phil Bulman

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