How much public money did each ferry company get in Lockdown #1? FOI finally answered

For months News OnTheWight’shas been pursuing the release of this info. Today our FOI-blocking challenge has been accepted

fifty pound notes

Readers may recall that the investigation News OnTheWight carried out into exactly how much in public funds the Cross-Solent operators received during the first Lockdown.

If you missed it, here’s how you can catch-up.

It had been a bit of a struggle over the previous months to get to a point where we could report – and we were still being blocked from the breakdown of exactly how much money each of the companies received individually. The Department for Transport (DfT) claimed that it was commercially sensitive.

News OnTheWight challenged this, explaining the Duopoly of the car ferry services and the Trioploy of foot passengers – with little competition, how could there be commercial sensitivity? That aside, it was public money being given away, therefore the public had a right to know.

Good news
Today came some good news. The DfT’s Information Rights Adviser had examined our challenge and decided in our favour.

Red Funnel£2,565,000

There is a slight difference between the figures we’d received from the DfT before from our original FOI (£4,926,000) and the total of the newly supplied amounts (£4,890,000), but given the size of the amount involved, £36k is less than 1%.

Image: Images Money under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 14th January, 2021 4:32pm



Filed under: Ferry, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Travel

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7 Comments on "How much public money did each ferry company get in Lockdown #1? FOI finally answered"

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Well done, Simon, for challenging the Department for Transport to get this information. Quite right, when public money is given away to private companies, the public has the right to know the details.


Nice big juicy handout out from the government, Plus all those passenger fares care of Dave Stewart and Will Myles promoting of the island as a holiday location during this pandemic.

Double bubble! Lovely Jubbly!

…..and sod the infection rate, covid infections and very sad deaths.


….and this is the party, the Conservative Party, we entrust with our local and national government. Who rip off our children by charging £30 for £5 worth of food.

They are a complete disgrace


Tories always have their snouts in the tough, more than ever during this pandemic, but it is we the electorate who elect them into positions where they can abuse their power.


How dare Wightlink threaten to enforce new pension and working conditions or to dismiss staff if not accepted. They should be forced to pay this handout back before another penny is paid to shareholders.


What a nice little earner for the shareholders care of the taxpayer.

opportunism at the height of the pandemic care of this government who have stripped the treasury bear to shell out taxpayers money to their friend.

Jenny Smart

Who’s going to pay for these Tory money scams, yes, you’ve got it, we the public are.