This just in from Andrew Turner in reaction to the OFT ‘No’. Ed
Mr Turner said,
“Of course this is disappointing, but the main outcome is that any future excessive fare rises or significant reduction in service levels is likely to lead to action by the Competition Authorities. That is a very much more positive position than we were in before.
“This is a 122 page report and I will need time to digest it fully and consider any future action but it is clear the OFT recognise that there are certain problems and they hope that this action will begin to address them.
“This has never been about being at war with the ferry companies; the Island needs them and they need the Island. I was simply asking the competition authorities to do the job they are supposed to do and protect the interests of the public.
“Throughout this process the professional management of Wightlink and Red Funnel have been both courteous and helpful. I hope to work with them in the future to help them meet the needs of the Island and Islanders.
“I am particularly pleased that Wightlink are looking at helping people who need to travel for hospital treatment, their visitors and their carers, and hope that Red Funnel will also look at this.
“I am meeting the new CEO of Wightlink, Russell Kew next week, and I also hope to meet with Red Funnel and Hovertravel management shortly.”
Mr Turner added:
“I would like to thank the small team of businessmen who have been helping me with this project, my staff who have worked so hard on this massive extra piece of work and the OFT for the work they have done. Most of all though, I would like to thank everyone who has supported the campaign or given evidence.
“Although it is not the outcome we hoped for, the new regime of disclosure of price and service information and a commitment to customer satisfaction will certainly make a difference in the future.”