The Steam Packet Company has published full details of its offer to the Isle of Man Government to continue providing lifeline sea services to the Island.
Late last month the Company presented its vision for the future of Isle of Man sea services to Tynwald and the media, and published a four-page summary leaflet outlining the highlights.
Today it has made available the full ‘Offer’ document presented to the Strategic Sea Services Working Group, Department of Infrastructure and Tynwald members. It explains in detail the business case behind the Company’s offer, including the promise to invest £170million in new vessels, port facilities and fare reductions, increase year-round passenger capacity, guarantee more special offers and introduce a new frequent traveller scheme.
The offer was made following the announcement late last year that the Isle of Man Government was considering the future of strategic sea services for the Island beyond the end of the current User Agreement in 2026.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘After many months of careful consideration, taking into account comments from the Strategic Sea Services Working Group and Department of Infrastructure public consultation exercise, we presented a plan for the future of the Isle of Man’s sea services. If agreed this will deliver new vessels before the end of the current agreement in 2026, greater capacity for passengers, a generous frequent traveller scheme and a permanent third vessel for the fleet.
'These lifeline services are so important we believe it is absolutely vital that the public are fully engaged in discussing the future, which is why we have ensured as much information as possible has been shared.
‘After publishing the highlights in May, we are now making public the full details of our offer. We think it is important that the facts and figures are available so people can arrive at informed decisions about what the future should hold for our essential sea services.’
He added: ‘We expect our offer to be debated in Tynwald next month and hope sharing this detail now will help people to fully understand our offer and be able to share their views with members of the parliament ahead of the July sitting. The earlier a decision is made on the future of the Island’s sea services, the sooner investment can begin and residents, visitors and businesses start to benefit.’
Among the promises made in the offer are replacements for Ben-my-Chree and Manannan between 2019 and 2023, with the retention of Ben-my-Chree as a back-up vessel, to provide additional capacity during the TT and Festival of Motorcycling and to maintain the Manx RPI cap on fare increases.
The Steam Packet Company has also guaranteed it will not seek any government subsidy and has outlined additional special offers and guarantees and a revenue-sharing arrangement aimed at funding additional low fare initiatives.
To read the offer document visit http://bit.ly/1VHkBag