Andrew Turner has been pursuing an investigation into the ferry operators to the Island, supported by 8,000 people’s signatures – it should also be noted that the Conservative-dominated Isle of Wight councillors were unsupportive when asked by the MP.
Today the Office of Fair Trading have announced that they will be carrying out a Market Study into the Isle of Wight ferry services.
The study will focus on a local market where consumers are wholly dependent on a small number of suppliers and where price, quality and general service have a major impact. It follows a complaint to the OFT alleging high prices, unclear charging and declining levels of service.
It will also look into the nature of competition between operators, potential barriers to entry, port ownership arrangements, route competition and pricing.
John Fingleton, OFT Chief Executive, said: “People travelling to and from the Isle of Wight are reliant on ferries and they want efficient and competitive services that are responsive to their needs. This market study will examine whether there are serious problems in the structure of the market or with the process of competition and, if there are, whether there is any public intervention that could bring about improvements.”
It’s expected that the findings will be be published in May 2009.
UPDATE: We’ve got some more details are about the Isle of Wight Ferries: OFT Market Study too.