Wightlink’s response to a new online petition, calling for the company to use a charter boat to continue twice hourly high-speed service between Portsmouth and Ryde during the annual refit of the FastCats, raised more questions than it answered earlier today.
In their statement Wightlink said:
“… most customers who wanted to travel at this time preferred to use the remaining FastCat than the charter vessel”
OnTheWight went back to Wightlink to ask how they knew what the customers preferred, when they asked them and how many they asked. Also, what led to the decision in 2018 to not initiate a chartered craft and how much they were saving by doing this.
Second guessing what customers prefer?
In response to the first three questions – namely how did Wightlink know most customers wanted to use the hourly FastCat rather than a charter boat? – a spokesperson for the company replied,
“We monitor our passenger numbers on a sailing by sailing basis and in previous years, when running a charter vessel, our carryings on that vessel were only a small proportion of the total passengers carried.”
“Sufficient capacity on an hourly service”
When asked what led the company to decide not to put a charter boat on, they replied,
“Detailed analysis of our passenger volumes indicates there is sufficient capacity on an hourly service to carry everyone who regularly travels with us.”
Not a financial decision
Our last question returned an unexpected answer – How much is Wightlink saving by not running a chartered craft? – resulted in this response,
“The decision not to charter was not a financial one.”
The petition can be found on the iPetitions Website.
Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely has still failed to answer questions put to him yesterday on the subject.