Lymington Ferries Update
Following the AGM a sub-group was set up which includes geographical representation and relevant professional expertise. It is chaired by Sheelagh Evans. Meetings have been held with Ryan Willegers (Harbour Master), Andrew Willson (Managing Director, Wightlink) and representatives of the Lymington River Users and there has been informal liaison with other interested parties. A meeting with the Chairman of Harbour Commissioners is planned but has not yet taken place due to diary pressures.
The Sub-Group has concluded that there are sufficient legal powers for the Harbour Master to enforce stringent operating conditions and that there is a significant amount of environmental data already available for baseline assessments.
The meeting of the regulators involved in environmental issues, mentioned in the Ministerial statement during the Adjournment Debate last November, is scheduled for 17th January. This meeting will resolve which body is taking the lead on environmental issues, however the Terms of Reference and scope of the assessment must be agreed by all the statutory authorities.
The Safety Risk assessment has been delayed because of data that cannot be obtained until later in January due to tidal patterns and so the final document is not likely to be ready until early February.
The SPS believe that there should be full transparency in the assessment process and have made a proposal to the Harbour Commissioners which, if accepted, would facilitate this aim.