Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, has issued a statement where he says that today’s Isle of Wight transport review TITF, “provides evidence that the firms’ shareholders have been prioritised over the needs of Islanders”.
While recognising the cross-Solent transport companies, “have tried to be good citizens to the Island, and they do help to drive traffic and tourism”, he points out that, “they deliver a high profit on their turnover, and this helps in part to explain their high cost to Islanders”.
Calls for Open relationship
Seely calls for “a more open relationship” with the ferry companies, asking for them to be, “more transparent about the costs of running their business, including the cost of their debts”.
The Isle of Wight MP is supportive of, the “Island Partnership Board to undertake regular and meaningful dialogue with the ferry firms”, as a means of reaching more openness and understanding.
Bob Seely, while offering a friendly hand does also provide a threat – “greater regulation”.
“In general, there are various options for the Island’s future dealings with the ferry firms. They include a closer working relationship with Island representatives through the Partnership Board, a public service obligation and/or greater regulation. I want to let the Board develop a relationship with the ferry firms first before we seek other alternatives. I will be guided in part by their recommendations.”
Red Funnel:Reviewing the report
Red Funnel CEO, Kevin George, told OnTheWight,
“We are currently reviewing the content of the Infrastructure Task Force report and we will seek to support the recommendations where possible.”
Wightlink: Delighted to join cross-Solent operators’ partnership board
Wightlink welcomes the publication of the Transport Infrastructure Task Force report.
A spokesperson for the company said,
“Chief Executive Keith Greenfield would be delighted to join the proposed cross-Solent operators’ partnership board to promote the economic development of the Isle of Wight.
“Wightlink is investing £45million in a new ferry and port facilities to support the Island’s economy.
“Wightlink already offers a wide range of discounted fares for Islanders, including students, apprentices, disabled people, groups and senior citizens, it is always happy to consider further support for those in education and training.”
12.45pm – Responses from ferry companies added