PUSHING FOR REGULATION! MP QUIGLEY JOINS USER GROUP FERRY PROTEST

Richard Quigley and Wightlink

Richard Quigley MP made it clear he is pushing for regulation when he joined the Wightlink Users Group in Ryde this morning (Saturday) as they protested against the cross-Solent operator, calling for a fairer deal.

Passionate locals waved their placards and encouraged passing motorists to honk their horns in support of the cause, which calls for change to make things better for Islanders and visitors alike.

Bronwyn Hamilton Brown of Wightlink Users Group (WUG) says that the action taken to date has had an impact, with late night Fastcats reintroduced and a dedicated telephone line for those with additional needs. However, when it comes to fares, she said that is down to the Island’s new MPs and the new Labour government.

Mr Quigley has supported WUG since its inception – and will now take the battle for better ferry services to Westminster.

 

Island Echo spoke with Richard at what was his first engagement as Member of Parliament for Isle of Wight West. When asked what he is going to do about the ferries, Richard said:

“Firstly, we’ve got that commitment from Keir Starmer’s office made during the election. A competition and market authority review is by no means perfect, and people are quite right to say that is not the answer, but we’ve got to start somewhere.

“What’s become clear is that the Island has been invisible. I was talking to the shadow transport team and no one knows anything about it. Nobody knows what an issue this is to us – they just think it’s a holiday island so stop moaning about it.

 

“School trips have stopped happening because half the kids can’t afford to get off the Island. It’s a barrier to opportunity for employment and whilst we desperately need to get home grown talent into good jobs here, it’s ridiculous to think that people don’t need to use that stretch of water.

“I want to push for regulation and go as far as we can. As we re-nationalise the railways and that stretch of water becomes a liquid railway, there is opportunity.

“It helps that all the information I need to set out an argument has been collated by WUG”.

Asked whether he will try and get a Ministerial visit soon, Richard said:

“Im going to try and get as many people to the Island as I can. I know I keep labouring the point but we’re invisible. We’re seen as a fantastic place to come on holiday, which we are, but we still have the same issues with coastal towns and rural areas as well, but also industrial areas.

“Yes, the Transport minister would be great but it would also be great to get Ed Miliband down, if I can, to see Vestas and the great work we do for the green economy. But really just anyone to highlight the Island!”

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