Questions remain after ferries meeting

By Martin Neville

Friday, January 24, 2014


FERRY bosses attended the second of two specially convened public meetings to probe cross-Solent services last night (Thursday), but many key questions went unanswered.

The Cross-Solent Services Scrutiny Task Group was set up in the wake of concerns about the impact of service cuts and high ferry fares.

The panel was warned at the start of the meeting however, that operators could not discuss certain matters in an open forum, due to commercial sensitivity and competition law.

The meeting, held in front of a packed public gallery at County Hall, provided an opportunity for the heads of all three firms — Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel — to answer their critics and for councillors to scrutinise their services.

The meeting was attended by the chief executives of both Red Funnel and Wightlink, Kevin George and Russell Kew, as well as Hovertravel managing director Neil Chapman.

It meant many key questions around future timetable plans, pricing and ownership went unanswered or not asked at all.

However, each company submitted extensive written representations — published below — answering 15 questions set by the committee.

A report on the findings of the committee, which has also heard from commuters and businesses, is due to be published in April.

For more on this story, please see the Isle of Wight County Press, on Friday, January 31.

Isle of Wight Council Cross-Solent Services Scrutiny Task Group



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