Further to the article published yesterday by OnTheWight highlighting the motion put forward by Cabinet member Cllr Jonathan Bacon urging councillors to support the MP on ferry issues, Russell Kew, the Chief Executive of Wightlink has been in touch.
He told OnTheWight he’d provided the council with a detailed brief about the company prior to the debate at next week’s Full Council meeting.
Mr Kew said,
“We welcome debate on the important and complex issue of cross-Solent travel and have provided councillors with a detailed brief on the company and its activity to help them conduct this forthcoming discussion with all the facts at hand.
“We are happy to work with the council and the wider Island community to take on board any suggestions to help us continue to meet our customers’ needs.
“Ongoing negative publicity undermines any future investment”
He went on to say that pursuing the matter of service and fares through the Office of Fair Trading again would not be best use of public resources.
“The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Transport, Stephen Hammond MP, has recently commented that, in light of the plentiful sailings to and from the Island each day, there is no apparent market failure, the market remains competitive and there is no case to impose public service obligations.
“Certainly we believe that our resources are better spent in maintaining and improving our services. The Island community, our customers and our 170 Island employees would ultimately suffer if the ongoing negative publicity undermines any future investment in the company.”
Included with Mr Kew’s correspondence was a presentation setting out a number of facts about Wightlink.
We’ve embedded the presentation below for your convenience. Some of the highlights include:
- The factors that affect timetabling and pricing structures.
- The facts on the punctuality and reliability of the services.
- High levels of customer satisfaction based on a recent substantial survey.
- The contribution Wightlink makes to Island life
- The reality of current service usage.
- Information about the structure of the company.