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The Port of Dover, with the Eastern Docks in the foreground and the Western Docks in the distance.
The Port of Dover is the cross-channel port situated in Dovermarker, south-east England. It is the nearest English port to France, at just 34 kilometres (21 miles) away, and one of Europe's largest passenger ports, with 16 million travellers, 700,000 lorries, 1.6 million cars and motorcycles and 118,000 buses passing through it each year, raising £15.5 billion a year.

The port has been owned and operated by the Dover Harbour Board, a statutory corporation, since it was formed by Royal Charter in 1606 by James I. Most of the board members are appointees of the Department of Transport.

The port has its own private police force, the Port of Dover Police.

The port claims to be the world's busiest passenger port[327410][327411].



The Harbour is divided into two sections, the Eastern Docks and the Western Docks, about apart.

Eastern Docks

Ferry services' passenger numbers have been adversely affected by the opening of the Eurotunnel service through the Channel Tunnelmarker in 1994. There are four ferry services to France operating from the nine docks and associated departure buildings of the Eastern Docks:

The adjacent freight terminal (with three loading cranes) can be used by a ship of up to .

Western Docks

The last commercial hovercraft service enters the Western Docks
This part of the Port is formed by the western arm of the harbour, Admiralty Pier, and its associated port facilities. It was initially used as a terminal for the Golden Arrow and other cross-channel train services (with its own railway station, Dover Marine) – it was here that the Unknown Warriormarker was landed. It ceased to be used for this purpose in the 1970s, and the train station closed in 1994. The Western Docks were also used from 1968 to the early 2000s for a cross-channel hovercraft service run by Hoverspeed, but this did not prove a success, as the Hovercraft could only transport a small number of cars and couldn't compete with Eurotunnel. Hoverspeed also ran catamaran services until being declared bankrupt in 2005. Another catamaran service ran from 2004 until November 2008 run by the single ship of SpeedFerries, SpeedOne, with up to five services daily to Boulogne-sur-Mermarker. The Hoverport has now been demolished for re-development.

Dover Marine station, with its platforms filled in to create a roofed car park and new buildings added, re-opened as the Dover Cruise Terminal in the 1990s. It can accommodate up to three cruise ships at a time.


In the Western Docks, between the cruise terminal and the former Hoverport is the entrance to a yacht harbour.


The port is accessible by road from the M20/A20 (leading to Folkestonemarker) and the M2/A2 (to Canterburymarker), and by train from the town's railway stationmarker (with a bus service from the station to the port, and with trains to and from London Charing Crossmarker, London Victoriamarker and Ramsgatemarker).

Harbour wall

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