Live coverage of Ferry companies at IWC scrutiny meeting

Keep up with the twists and turns as the council’s Scrutiny committee question the cross-Solent operators.

First Isle of Wight Full Council meeting with Independents in charge (Panoramic)

As trailed earlier today, each of the cross-Solent operators – Wightlink, Red Funnel and HoverTravel – are this evening being questioned by the Isle of Wight council’s Scrutiny committee at County Hall.

Many people are there, but in case you couldn’t make it, Sally is there, reporting live from within the council chamber.

Her Tweets are published here, on the site, so you can keep in abreast of things from the comfort of your own home.

Thursday, 23rd January, 2014 7:29pm



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

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19 Comments on "Live coverage of Ferry companies at IWC scrutiny meeting"

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Reading tonight’s tweets the questions by the committee are gutless and weak.


Yes and all Russell Kew and Wightlink could do was blame the council and the island for tourism.

phil jordan
That’s exactly how it seemed to me as well….. Just to answer other comments….the list of items that were *forbidden* to be asked as questions publicly (due to legal intracacies) were so extensive as to render the whole process ineffective. We can hope that the private written answers to the scrutiny committee might be more revealing to councillors’ at least… I witnessed three very different attitudes however….two… Read more »
Hey Phil, you refer to items being *forbidden* but surely it is merely because companies in competition with each other should not be sharing information which could put themselves in breach of Competition Law? I would have thought that given the current budgetary position you, as a Cabinet Member, would not want the IOW Council to be a risk of being complicit in breaching competition law and… Read more »
phil jordan
@alverstonegv: You may have misunderstood my comments. I was merely giving information in the context of a post about the type of questions being asked. The questioning was curtailed by those very issues you mention and I am not criticising that legal imposition…merely explaining to those not there WHY the questioning was not carried out in a more direct manner. The directive about that came from the… Read more »
retired Hack
The problem with commercial confidentiality, of course, is that companies like Wightlink can hide behind it. As an example, it would be good to be able to test their recent assertion that the fares restructuring before Christmas was revenue-neutral. The fares structure, both before and after the change, was fiendishly opaque. It is therefore simply not possible to test the “revenue-neutral” claim using publicly-available data. So one… Read more »

The reason Wightlinks ferry market is flat is because you pitched the prices far too high as we told you Mr Kew. Your worn out PR is spent and an insult to the people’s intelligence.


I’m glad Sally was prepared to be out on a cold dark evening to relay this back to us! It keeps us in the loop.

Black Dog
So, eye-watering ferry fares and reduced timetables are down to the council planners, hoteliers, bed and breakfast establishments and tourists? Planning: For not allowing any Tom, Dick or Harry to build whatever they want on the Island. Hoteliers/B&B Establishments: For insisting the change-over dates are at the weekends, when in actual fact they should spread start and stop dates for holidays throughout the week. Tourists: Because they… Read more »
phil jordan

you have this most accurately…

How we can just blithely accept that planning has an impact on the ferries is…well. a little off my radar.
How ferries can devoid themselves of being part of the whole cycle of tourism is curious.

Not me, Guv…springs to mind!

Just picking up on a couple of points from the meeting. Red Funnel’s reply to period returns being dearer than day trips. The duration costs is considered to be a proportion of the holiday costs. Why? for instance the car still only takes up for instance 5m of space regardless to which day it is, does it grow in length while it has been away, or is… Read more »

I have never understood why period returns are more expensive than day returns. It is only one trip out and one trip back.

Can someone please explain?


Presumably one is paying Wightlink for the extended period of fun in between!


Missed date from Wightlinks History Quote 1979.


The calculations and comparisons have been made and Macquarie/Wightlink know it. The issue is they refuse to act on it and the “Task and Mask” didn’t want to argue the point.The fares should be half what they are charging.


I’m still waiting for someone to ask the Cowes Harbour Commission how much they charge Red Funnel !!! Maybe if they weren’t so greedy fares would be cheaper – and is it true Red Funnel will have to hike fares when the new breakwater is complete? I have had two Cllrs email CHC and NO REPLY, I’ve also asked CHC myself and I’m ignored.

I do not believe it
Red Funnel – prime example of duplicity! Southwest Trains and Red Funnel haven been advertising their joint ‘Go to London on Sats and Sundays for £18 return’ until 23FEB14. My wife turned up this morning at Red Jet Terminal in Cowes and asked for a day return to Waterloo. She was charged the full price. When she challenged the grim-faced Red funnel person she was told that… Read more »
Black Dog

Could someone please tell me if David Pugh is employed by Wightlink or the bank that ownes them?

There are some strong rumours out there. It would be good to know and if confirmed it could explain Wightlink’s strange attitude at this meeting

Man in Black

I’d heard that he was being considered for a board role, but Wightlink changed their minds. Can’t tell you whether it’s true or not. Didn’t OTW ask WL about it and they said something along the lines of now commenting on ‘speculation’.