Council leader's warning over Wightlink criticism

By Emily Pearce

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


HEAVY-HANDED criticism of Wightlink could damage the Isle of Wight’s reputation and put off tourists, it has been warned.

As previously reported, the ferry company’s cuts to late-night and early morning services have sparked a public outcry.

"There is no doubt we want to see lower prices and a more regular service but we have to be reasonably realistic," said Isle of Wight council leader Cllr David Pugh at last Wednesday’s full council meeting.

"But we need to be cautious about expressing our concern. We don’t want to send out the message the Island is expensive and difficult to get to. We need to keep talking up the Island as an affordable place to visit wherever we go, no matter how challenging the situation."

Transport cabinet member Cllr Edward Giles said Wightlink was a private company over which the council had no authority.

"We would all like cheaper ferry fares and it’s easy for politicians to jump on the bandwagon to generate a headline but you will not find the council doing that. We will do all we can but we will not give the impression the Island is a difficult and expensive place to visit.

"We will continue to talk regularly with the ferry operators and put forward residents views but ultimately they are a commercial organisation that needs to balance costs against revenue."



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by Martin Heath

7th December 2012, at 14:22:24

Should just point out that Lily only has two L's not three. And People were put off coming to the Island on Holiday in any significant quantity 20+ years ago.

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by Martin Heath

7th December 2012, at 14:20:09

Does Cllr Pugh have a vested interest by any chance? You don't have to be cautious at all David. If Wightlink or Red Funnel for that matter don't like it they can go elsewhere! The Council can then go cap in hand to Gov't and private investors and sort out a fixed link. Works for Skye. Stop being so lilly livered and stand by those you are supposed to represent.

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by gary stevens

6th December 2012, at 09:28:42

as a small businessman i worry about travelling costs to the mainland and postal couriers are now reluctant to now deliver to the island see on e-bay note not isle of wight,historicially the links to the island were made by the old railway companies,except red funnel and as we have a national road network surely we are just a part of this,or arent we with pot holed roads,we should challenge the fact of we are part of england and now that scotland is going to be an independant island i beleive our case should gather pace as england hasnt got many islands.and the link should be free or subsised as we are socially deprived area,no longer a tourist destination only to a few weekend trippers,the council should wake and smell the coffee
gary stevens

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by Mike Crowe

5th December 2012, at 17:30:07

After reading Frank Bushell's posting, I feel that Wightlink are really trying to lose custom. Not thought of this before, but WHY would they try to run themselves out of business? Anybody got a clue?

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by Frank Bushell

5th December 2012, at 16:56:18

The message is already out there.My relatives are reluctant to visit because of the high fares, and how is it that red funnel with a longer journey are invarilby cheaper. After using Wightlink for 40 years I am now a red funnel customer. WIGHTLINK take note.

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by Michele Cantwell

5th December 2012, at 16:06:28

the council has already sold off all the tourist sites anway so it doesn't matter if we "scare" off potential tourists as there's nothing left here anyway!

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by Mike Crowe

5th December 2012, at 15:20:43

I have just booked a return on Red Funnel for a car and 4 people. £40.37

The same on Wightlink. Same car, same people, same time ..... £50.50

Mr Pugh. Wightlink. Wakey Wakey

These are facts not fiction. I said before I was gone from Wightlink after years and years of service. I don't think I am alone.

Now if the same car on the bridge has a toll of £35.00 guess what :-))
Cheaper. Faster transit. .............

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by Peter Whiteman

5th December 2012, at 11:00:14

I read all the comments with interest and yes Cllr Pugh has it got wrong and so did Cllr Giles they can help by talking to Wightlink or using the new Tourism Manager. You can always do something if the want to ! But with the amount of money they claim in expenses it does'nt matter to them how much it costs.

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by Dan Wavell

5th December 2012, at 10:49:01

So 41 comments later - I think these proves that Mr Pugh and his admistration are at least (if not more) disliked even than Wightlink!?

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by John Lennon

5th December 2012, at 10:33:43

Does Mr Pugh forget that he was voted in by the people of the Island? His little stint as a councillor won't last long with comments like these!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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