Cross-Solent price rises

By Richard Wright

Saturday, December 8, 2012

 

TWO out of the three cross-Solent operators are raising their ticket prices in line with inflation.

Wightlink and Red Funnel have announced similar price hikes but Hovertravel has frozen its prices until March.

Red Funnel’s rates will be increased by between three and three-and-a-half percent from January 2 but bookings made before then will be charged at existing prices.

Red Funnel says it has kept rises as low as it can, taking into account the Retail Price Index and the higher cost of fuel, equipment and maintenance.

Wightlink freight tickets increase by four percent from January 7 but the company, which recently announced controversial cuts to services and jobs, says Isle of Wight resident fares, Multilink, season and foot passenger rates would be rising by three percent.

The company said it would keep its discount scheme, simplifying its fares tariff, and — in response to customer feedback — was dropping its administration fees for reprinting or making changes to tickets.

Hovertravel marketing manager Loretta Lale said: "Our winter fares freeze will last until the end of March when a review will be undertaken."

Introduction of higher rates by Wightlink and Red Funnel comes as a public meeting is organised by the Isle of Wight Trades Unions Council.

It will be held at St George’s Park, Newport, on Thursday, January 3 at 7pm. People have been invited to debate service cuts and the high cost of cross-Solent travel.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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by neil jacks

12th December 2012, at 09:04:55

A fixed link will never happen. There is insufficient demand as well as geographical matters further ruling it out. Jim B's idea is not that far wide of the mark.

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by Tim Brayford

10th December 2012, at 17:54:59

Build a fixed link, no more ferry problems then!

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by James Brewer

10th December 2012, at 13:18:19

So from January foot passenger season ticket holders will lose 10% of the daily sailings they have the opportunity of travelling on but see the price of a season ticket rise by 3%. Marvellous.

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by Martin Miller

10th December 2012, at 11:37:54

The reason that there is no competition over the Solent, is the same as Southern Vectis monopoly on the roads. Too many investors with ties closer to home. They work in close harmony with the Council, a little too close it seems. Private investors would be out of pocket if by some miraculous chance, an independent operator started. Take a look at the poor individuals that tried and failed to compete? The ferry from Cowes Thetis Wharf, I heard a rumour they were refused docking in Cowes. Small bus firms bought out by S.V. No one stands a chance for Private enterprise, so lets just face the fact that we are on our own, held to ransom. Carriage firms charge extra now to bring goods to the Island,not sent by Royal Mail. So it's not just passengers who face this rise, it is consumers who order goods from the MAINLAND UK. So I tend to wait and combine my mainland buying, to coincide with a car trip off the Island.If Government subsidised these buccaneers we would still be paying through tax

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by Jim Buchanan

10th December 2012, at 11:26:25

How about this as an option...
There are many wealthy people & businesses on the Island, so please get together and buy shares in Wightlink, and launch a hostile takeover bid for the company. Once in charge run the company as a profitable business with the Isle of Wight's future prosperity (and your own) seen as the focus of the business and not just profit before killing off the economy of the Island.

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by Jim Buchanan

10th December 2012, at 11:21:34

The ferries to the Scottish Islands are subsidised by Govt as they are essential to the Islander's livelihoods. We as taxpayers are stumping up the cash for this. Why do we on the Island NOT have Govt subsidies and why is Mr Andrew Turner not lobbying for this in Parliament?

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by neil jacks

10th December 2012, at 10:46:00

What is the prospect of an alternative carrier?

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by T Rollingsworth

10th December 2012, at 09:46:57

I pay around 3k a year to travel to work with wightlink each year, 3% is still quite a bit even when my wage goes up with inflation!
I'd like to go to the meeting to debate alternatives but unfortunately it would just be a one way argument full of people moaning about the price of car returns

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by Den Young

9th December 2012, at 11:36:24

i suppose you agree with the price rises Mr Pooo

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by Mike Crowe

9th December 2012, at 08:19:57

Jay I am certain that they are running the business down and eventually out, but I can't see for the life of me why! Well, in the long term I can see and it is a very crafty move.

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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