Wightlink have already ramped up fares in recent years to sometimes eye-watering levels which mitigate against the continued success of the Island's tourism industry and its wider commercial interests. This double-whammy of increased fares and reduced services isn’t just unwelcome, it borders on piracy. Wightlink must think again and their Australian owners must begin to understand that it is unacceptable for loyal passengers to be treated in this cavalier way.
The moves, which will see the last evening sailing from Lymington at just 9.05pm, no ferry sailings from Portsmouth to Fishbourne between midnight and 3am, and the last catamaran from Portsmouth at just 10.15pm, will have a real impact on the Island economy and the ability of local people to get home in the evenings after visits to the mainland.
Those who travel on late night sailings regularly do so because they have to, not because they choose to and it is quite wrong that in many cases their livelihoods and the viability of their businesses are being threatened.
Where was the consultation with local residents? What consideration was given to the Island’s tourist industry and the wider business community? Why are your owners paying large dividends to shareholders whilst claiming to be unable to afford to run a basic service?
It seems that the owners of Wightlink are gradually tightening their fingers around the Island’s neck and strangling its economic lifeblood.