By Richard Wright
Thursday, February 28, 2013
THE FIRST ever round-table meeting between the ferry companies, Isle of Wight politicians and a government minister is to take place.
On March 14, when secretary of state for transport Patrick McLoughlin comes to the Island to launch the Island’s £480 million highways PFI initiative, he will take part in the meeting organised by the Isle of Wight Council.
Council leader Cllr David Pugh said: "We have already met with the ferry companies to agree the areas we will be discussing with the minister and we hope that this will be the first step in developing a shared understanding of what needs to be done to secure the future viability and regularity of these services."
It comes as a result of deep concern over Wightlink ferry cuts and their effect on the economy and travellers.
It will be the second meeting with a government minister in a matter of days in the wake of the cuts. Island MP Andrew Turner is to lead a cross-party delegation to Whitehall on Tuesday.
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by neil jacks
4th March 2013, at 15:32:30
Oh and Tim there is massive difference between T/O and bottom line. This also has nothing to do with any ferry operator.
4th March 2013, at 15:30:32
sorry Tim, but this is nothing to do with the council or councils before. An investment on this scale would have to be of national importance and it is not now and may well never be. You live on the Isle of wight, a great place to live and if you cannot embrace all it has to offer, then maybe you should see if the grass is any greener on the other side of the Solent, I assure you, it is not.
by Tim Brayford
4th March 2013, at 14:41:07
Wightlink T/O £ 51million per annum according to wikipedia, so the fixed link would apparently break even in 3-4 years. The only reason that we don't already have one to my mind is a council that can't even make satisfactory traffic arrangements for Chapel Street in Newport combined with a vociferous narrow minded minority of Island residents who don't give a damn about local living and employment standards being lower than adjacent areas on the mainland.
3rd March 2013, at 22:07:21
Say you were one of the investors in the building project. You invest say £100million. Over how long a period would you be prepared to have that sort of money invested in something that might produce a few thousand pounds a month. Remember the people who want a fixed link are usually after cheaper crossings over the Solent, so what you going to charge £20 return? That's what 5000000 return tickets sold just to break even on your investment. No one stumps up that sort of cash without getting some sort of return. For the amount of risk involved and the time period you'd want at least double back. If it was a viable investment it would have been done years ago.
by John Lennon
1st March 2013, at 00:13:38
Build a bridge NOW!!! There's £480 million to spend! Woo Hoo!!!
by Stephen Huntley
28th February 2013, at 14:42:20
Hovertravel also seem to be missing a new large hovercraft, and the other two don't seem to be reliable lately.
28th February 2013, at 13:26:27
Whatever the outcome of this meeting the inescapable conclusion is that the Island needs the much overdue fixed link. Whether or not this is something for the IWC, DOT, PFI Investors or indeed Wightlink would choose to invest in is entirely a matter for them. What the public do not need is a declining and increasingly expensive ferry service
by kevin froment
28th February 2013, at 13:01:53
what happened to the giant hovercraft that used to cross to france, we could have used one of those and offloaded on a public slipway, wonder what wightlink and red funnel would make of that
by K Thornton
28th February 2013, at 11:54:08
Those would do it, I very much doubt any of these terms will be tabled.
by Mike Crowe
28th February 2013, at 11:44:01
K Thornton, you mean to include words like 'monopoly', and '24 hr service'. or 'bridge', or, 'take over', or 'another ferry company'?I know what you mean
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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