We hear from Andrew Turner’s office today that the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and former Chancellor, Ken Clarke has shown his support for Andrew’s campaign for a full investigation into Cross-Solent ferry services.
Andrew is clearly delighted at the news having spoken to Ken Clarke a few weeks ago when he handed over copies of the detailed submissions and arguments that have been made to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Andrew hopes that having the support of such a senior politician, will help push things forward. He went on to say:
“When I spoke to Ken about the ferry services he saw straight away the potential for abuse of market position. He has absolutely unrivalled experience of such matters and I hope that the support of someone with his background, detailed knowledge and expertise will help persuade the OFT that this really must go forward to a full investigation if they find anything at all untoward during this market survey.
I am also grateful to those people who are still giving useful evidence in support of the campaign. There are only nine days left before all information must be in with the OFT, so if you have any information you think would be useful please either write to me at 24 The Mall, Newport, PO30 1BW or leave details on my website at www.IslandMP.org.”
On the subject, Ken Clarke said this morning
“The decision by the Office of Fair Trading to instigate a market survey is absolutely right. The Isle of Wight ferries are quite literally a lifeline service – and the market must work, and be seen to work, for the benefit of its customers – not just the ferry operators.
“My colleague Andrew Turner has done a great deal of work on this matter, and I am impressed by the number of people and organisations from the Island who have supported him in getting this far. If the OFT finds evidence of any practices that warrant further study then they should recommend a full investigation to be carried out as soon as possible.”
Mr Turner added that he hoped the ferry companies would welcome a full investigation, as they have the market survey.