Impose public service obligation on ferry companies says IW CLA branch chairman

The first on the list of resolutions for the New Year is for the Isle of Wight Council or the Government to impose “some form of public service obligation on ferry companies or provide an alternative”.

the solent

Helen shares this latest news from the Country Land and Business Association. Ed

Rural businesses on the Isle of Wight could look forward to a much better new year, if national and local government took action to address some key issues for the countryside, says CLA Isle of Wight branch chairman, Susie Sheldon.

Susie, who owns and manages Kings Manor Farm at Freshwater, has prepared five New Year resolutions for Government which, she says, would make a significant difference to the landowners, farmers and rural businesses represented by the CLA on the Isle of Wight.

  1. Transport: we need the Council or Government to impose some form of public service obligation on ferry companies or provide an alternative. The disadvantages of our geographical location for farmers must be minimised by maintaining economic unrestricted routes to market. This is particularly important given the lack of an abattoir or official fallen stock scheme on the Isle of Wight.

    We also need unrestricted local access via the Island road network – recent planning conditions restricting vehicle access times on designated routes must be discouraged.

  2. Broadband: the increase in local initiatives to improve Island broadband is welcome, but we need a campaign to ensure these include rural areas and more remote locations, rather than just achieving the required percentage of cover.
  3. Rights of Way: our footpaths and bridleways are great attraction for visitors, but currently there is no money available for any capital spend on footpaths within the Island. Any money the Council has available is almost certain to go to Coastal Access routes due to strong matched funding from central government. We need to emphasise to the Isle of Wight Council the importance of our footpaths, cycle tracks and bridleways.
    The CLA is also campaigning for a change to allow landowners to temporarily close or re- route footpaths (or temporarily ban dogs) during lambing and calving. This would be really helpful particularly when the footpath bisects a field. The problems caused by people with no understanding of the countryside, have led to considerable damage and loss.
  4. Energy Performance Certificates: we would like to see the removal of listed properties from regulations which require Energy Performance Certificates before residential buildings can be let. Too many old buildings have already been needlessly internally disfigured by the application of MEES/EEPC regulations.
  5. Business Property Relief on Holiday Lets: holiday lettings businesses are not generally considered as a trade and therefore do not qualify for business property relief – a change to this would be very welcome.

Image: dragontomato under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 22nd December, 2017 1:40pm



Filed under: Agriculture, Business, Farming, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

5 Comments on "Impose public service obligation on ferry companies says IW CLA branch chairman"

newest oldest most voted

Talk about a self-serving list. We could add:
6. Tractors to be allowed to block the road for miles, travel without working lights and cover the road and everything else in mud.
Ah, sorry, they already do.

You’re really not wrong there electrickery. Having had to drive on mud caked roads in the wet all week I’m surprised there hasn’t been more accidents. I’d be more than happy though to grant business rate relief these people but only if the properties are used to accommodate families would otherwise be homeless or in temporary accommodation. Seems like a fair deal. I’d be fascinated to know… Read more »

The CLA proposals make perfect sense, however the DfT have made it very clear that as they are private commercial concerns it is not possible to impose public service obligations on the ferry companies.


But there would be if they were in public ownership – we had the chance and threw it away. But DafT have a new £1Bn pot that’s just fallen off the magic money tree – it’s for upgrading A-roads – eg A3020 Cowes – East Cowes. How about it, Bob?


“If”, but they are not, nor is there any commitment or funding to take the ferries into public ownership.
Even if the ferries were in public ownership the service could be much worse than it already is.
Floating Bridge 6 is an excellent example of just how inept our local authority and the SLEP are at organising and running transport infrastructure projects