New Ferries Stakeholders Update – No. 9

Posted on 17 Feb 2010

Having received a copy of the court’s judgement the Commissioners note that it has confirmed that LHC has no powers to consent to, or prohibit, the introduction of the new ferries. It also notes the position taken by LHC in February 2009 and publicised by Stakeholder Update no 4 as summarised here:

Wightlink have defied the will of all the regulators in deciding to introduce their new ferries before the environmental concerns have been resolved.

They have taken this action despite repeated requests from the LHC and their previous undertaking not to do so. They claim that they are justified because of the needs of the Isle of Wight, but the real problem that has lead to this situation is Wightlink’s determination to design and build ferries in advance of meaningful consultations with all the regulators.  As a result, all subsequent consultations have taken place against the commercial necessity on the part of Wightlink to introduce ferries that had already been paid for.

We have once again requested Wightlink to desist from this action, and are contacting all the relevant Government Departments for support in preventing it.

The ruling concludes that Wightlink’s decision to introduce the A Class ferries on 25 February 2009 was unlawful, thereby fully vindicating our persistent requests for them not to do so. It now remains to be seen what action government will take to resolve the present unlawful situation.

Peter Griffiths

Chairman – LHC

16th February 2010