Changes At WightLink Could Increase Island Cost of Living (updated)

What effect with the change have to the Island’s cost of living?

Word reaches us that Wightlink are intending to follow in the footsteps of Red Funnel and* withdraw their drop-trailer service to haulage companies.

Changes At WightLink Could Increase Island Cost of LivingIf you’re not sure what the drop-trailer service is, in simple terms it means that freight lorries can drop off a trailer at the ferry terminal (we’re sure you’ll have seen them parked up in Portsmouth) and it’s then loaded onto the ferry by WightLink.

The trailer is then collected from Fishbourne by a lorry and taken on to its destination (usually to the supermarkets or chain stores) by local haulage companies.

You might be wondering why we think this would be of interest to readers.

Knock-on effects could increase cost of Island living
There are several downsides to the removal of the drop-trailer service.

Firstly, as the trailers would need to be accompanied by a lorry cab on the ferry it will reduce the capacity, thereby meaning less room for other vehicles.

The demand for space could lead to an increase in the ferry fares to all customers, whether they be haulage or domestic.

It’s highly likely that the increase in cost to the haulage companies will result in a knock-on effect to the cost of living for Islanders too.

We imagine that their customer list includes the likes of Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Waitrose, PC World, Maplins, Currys, Lidl, etc. Products being shipped for sale on the Island could rise in price to the consumer.

With a rise in those claiming unemployment benefit and potentially over 500 jobs being cut at the Isle of Wight council over the next few months, this doesn’t bode well for Island residents.

What’s driving the decision?
One source told VB that WightLink no longer wish to provide the service as it is not cost effective.

We’ve written to WightLink tonight (don’t expect a reply until tomorrow), and will update the story once we hear back (response here).

Update 9.20am * Red Funnel have confirmed this morning that they have not axed their drop-trailer service. They sent us the following statement.

We haven’t stopped running our Drop Trailer operations at all. We recently reduced the number of overnight sailings for the winter period, but this has no impact on our drop trailer operations. We are still happily carrying drop trailers for a number of national brands and Island based companies through Red Funnel Distribution our haulage and freight company. More information about these drop trailers services can be found here

Image: Loz Flowers under CC BY-SA 2.0

Thursday, 25th November, 2010 11:04pm



Filed under: Ferry, Fishbourne, Isle of Wight News

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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7 Comments on "Changes At WightLink Could Increase Island Cost of Living (updated)"

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A Non

Never mind, we’re used to paying more for everything, what with being a whole three miles (ish) away from the mainland. I love the IoW but it couldn’t be more corrupt. I often feel like Edward Woodward’s character in The Wicker Man, I can see what’s going on, but I can’t do anything about it.
Time for a bridge now….?


Typical Wightlink – only thinking about themselves. Thought they were meant to be ‘part of Island life’. Yeh right. Thanks


What do you expect from a company where all the important decisions are made in Australia ?

What’s everyone on about. These are businesses trying to turn a profit for their shareholders – they’re not public services. It’s like the criticisms of Southern Vectis. If we want transport to be public transport, let’s lobby the politicians and vote for a party that is willing to reverse some of the damaging privatisations. Alternatively let’s raise some capital and start a social enterprise ferry (and bus)company

But if Red Funnel aren’t axing their Drop Trailer operations, and therefore Wightlinks customers switch to Red Funnel instead, Wightlink wont be turning a profit for their shareholders as they will not be providing a competitive service for their customers.

Lets hope it costs them dear as they certainly couldn’t care less about us.

Haulage Bob
I am very concerned, so should you be. The drop trailer service offers a considerable discount to freight users. It’s not just the supermarkets, who all seem use the service. Our building materials and farm goods will cost more to ship over too. Like it or not, most goods come and go by lorry. The cab part of an articulated lorry does take up space on the… Read more »
Pog of Southampton

Stop moaning about ferry companies islanders – you say they should be providing a service to you – you live on an island , what do you expect – charity – if you are that annoyed with the service get together and start your own !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Moaners !!!!!!!!!!!