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To: The Secretary of State for Transport

Appoint a Regulator for Isle of Wight Ferries

Dear Secretary of State for Transport,

We the undersigned are writing to express our concerns about the current state of ferry services in the Isle of Wight. The island is home to the most expensive mile-for-mile car ferries in the world, a fact that is causing significant distress for residents and visitors alike.

Unlike Calmac, the wholly-owned Scottish provider, the main providers on the Cross-Solent routes have no statutory public service obligation. This lack of regulation allows these companies to operate without any checks or balances, leading to potential abuses of their position.

Furthermore, the Island’s council despite being the transport authority, has no powers over the ferries. It is concerning that the council does not seem to have a stated plan by, for example, insisting on seats on the companies’ boards.

We already have a Transport Infrastructure Board, which unfortunately does not appear to have any teeth, and the ferry firms’ participation is voluntary. This situation leaves the residents of the Isle of Wight at the mercy of these companies, with no recourse for grievances.

Therefore, we urge your government to urgently address this issue by appointing a Regulator for Isle of Wight Ferry companies. This Regulator should have statutory powers, including the ability to impose large fines for abuse of position.

Such a move would not only protect the interests of the residents of the Isle of Wight but also ensure that the ferry companies operate in a manner that is fair and just.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your prompt action.

Why is this important?

The Isle of Wight, a beloved destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, is currently facing a significant challenge. The primary means of reaching our beautiful island is through the ferry services provided by Wightlink and Red Funnel. Unfortunately, these companies have gained reputations as cash cows for their shareholders, seemingly prioritizing profit over the provision of quality services to both Islanders and visitors.

Countless horror stories circulate about passenger experiences on these ferries, and currently, there is no effective system in place to address these complaints, such as a Ferry Ombudsman or Regulator. Despite the urgency of these issues, governments have consistently overlooked them. It is time for our concerns to be recognized and addressed.

Whether you are an Isle of Wight resident who relies on these ferry services, a frequent visitor, or even someone considering a future visit, your voice matters.

We urge you to sign this petition to demonstrate to our MP, Bob Seely, and the government, that we’ve had enough. It’s time for urgent action in the form of a Ferry Regulator with real power. Your signature can make a difference in improving the travel experience for everyone who visits or lives on the Isle of Wight. Thank you for your support.

Isle of Wight, UK

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Updates

2023-12-23 16:14:36 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2023-12-22 08:48:56 +0000

500 signatures reached

2023-12-21 14:46:56 +0000

100 signatures reached

2023-12-21 11:03:41 +0000

50 signatures reached

2023-12-21 08:14:07 +0000

25 signatures reached

2023-12-20 18:03:36 +0000

10 signatures reached