MP Andrew Turner has described a meeting with Wightlink bosses over its finances as "frank, open and helpful."
The meeting at the House of Commons took place yesterday (Tuesday) against a background of written exchanges over the ferry company’s finances first posed at a public meeting by Isle of Wight chartered accountant Peter Bonnell.
Claims were made at the meeting, organised by the Isle of Wight Trades Union Council, that Wightlink’s financial structure and borrowing was responsible for high fares and cuts in services.
Mr Bonnell, who has probed the ferry company’s structure, finances and tax affairs, was among those who attended the meeting.
They met a Wightlink delegation including Gordon Parsons, Wightlink chairman and senior managing director of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, which owns Wightlink.
Mr Turner said: "Mr Parsons particularly wanted to make the points that they have made £68m of capital expenditure in Wightlink since they acquired the business and that £1m is spent each year marketing the Isle of Wight as a destination.
"Many of the questions I had about the structure of the company were answered and I was particularly glad that Peter Bonnell was also able to attend and assist me with this process."
Mr Turner said he was especially pleased that Wightlink managers had already met with the new Solent Ferry Users’ Group and undertaken to engage constructively with it.
"I urge all those concerned about our lifeline ferry services to get involved in the group and I look forward to playing my part," said Mr Turner.
Mr Bonnell said: "I appreciated the opportunity to ask detailed questions about Wightlink and its structure and financing.
"Mr Parsons has promised to get back to me with some small details of information which were not to hand on the day. I appreciate that and look forward to receiving his response."