MP Bob Seely says ferry fare scheme ‘welcome announcement’

The Island MP has released a statement regarding the ferry fare discount scheme announcement.

Isle of Wight Council (IWC), Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel have developed the scheme together.

It means lower mainland travel costs for Islanders receiving housing benefit and/or local council tax support.

You will need to book travel seven days in advance to receive the discounts. It is estimated up to 14,000 people will be able to claim it.

MP Bob Seely

MP Bob Seely said: “This is a welcome announcement and should help many low-income families on the Island.

“It goes some way to address issues of affordability for those who, at present, find it a struggle to afford to use the ferries.

“I thank the Island’s council and the ferry companies for coming together to set up this scheme.

“I would also like to thank Christopher Garnet and the Transport Infrastructure Board for their key work. They, the council and I have been working together. Our message to the ferries has been that we need deeds, and not just warm words, to show that they are on the side of Islanders.

“This is also the first proof of what I hope will be a better relationship between the ferry firms and the Island going forward. All of us representing Islanders will continue to work in a united way to find ways to encourage and enable the ferries to serve Islanders better.

“Today’s announcement, however, doesn’t address broader issues around fair ferry prices. I will continue to make the case that Islanders are being unfairly treated by what is effectively a duopoly.”

The Transport Infrastructure Board was set up following a parliamentary debate called by former Island MP Andrew Turner.

Julian Critchley

Julian Critchley, Isle of Wight Labour Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate, said: “We’re pleased that the ferry companies have responded to pressure to reduce the costs of travel for some Island families.

“This is, however, addressing some symptoms rather than curing the problem.

“I don’t believe that access to the mainland should be a matter for two private companies to decide who to favour with reduced fares.

“The Labour campaign is to assert the right of all islanders, as British citizens, to be able to access the rest of our country without having to pay private companies for the privilege.

“Ultimately, the only way to resolve this issue is to impose a public duty to serve all Islanders on the ferries, either through regulation or public ownership.”