Cross-Solent operators

In an unprecedented move to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the Isle of Wight’s three ferry operators have been given permission to start ‘resilience planning talks’ with each other according to the MP for the Isle of Wight.

As previously and exclusively reported by Isle of Wight Radio, Bob Seely put an amendment down to the Coronavirus Bill in parliament, contrary to competition law – to allow the ferry companies to communicate.

Communication will allow food and goods to be transported to the Isle of Wight, enable key workers to cross the Solent and let patients continue to undergo treatment on the mainland.

The delegated legislation is currently being drawn up that would grant the firms full legal permission to undergo ‘resilience planning talks’ to minimise disruption during the pandemic.

Writing to the Cheif Executives of Hovertravel, Wightlink and Red Funnel Mr Seely said:

“I request that you now begin communicating with each other – and by all means with the Transport Infrastructure Board – to begin putting plans in place. It is, of course, my hope that these plans are not needed.

“However, the role they [the ferry companies] may play in providing vital services for the Island in the weeks ahead is of paramount importance.”