Residents and businesses can contribute to the future of the Island’s ferry services following the launch of an online survey on Monday (24 September 2018).
Contributions will help inform the development of a new Sea Services Agreement, to replace the current User Agreement, and define the services and standards which need to be delivered by a ferry service provider in exchange for the exclusive use of the link-span.
Since its introduction in 1995, the User Agreement and its subsequent extensions have provided the benefit of special offer fares, reduced the frequency of delays in the delivery of commodity cargos and specified requirements for the provision of new vessels.
On approving the Isle of Man Government’s decision to buy the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSPC) in May 2018, Tynwald agreed that a new agreement would be signed between the Department of Infrastructure and IoMSPC.
The negotiation of a new agreement provides an opportunity to re-define what the Island requires from its future services to ensure they meet the Island’s anticipated social and economic requirements.
The online survey is designed to build on information gathered at workshops held recently with key stakeholders and provide additional feedback to support the development of a new agreement.
Tim Baker MHK, Member for Ports, said:
‘Developing a new Sea Services Agreement presents the opportunity to think about what local residents and businesses want and need from our maritime links.
‘As Island residents we know the importance of having robust provision to ensure goods and supplies can be transported all year round. And we also understand the need to have reliable and effective routes for tourism in both directions.
‘How these can be protected and improved are often the subject of much debate and this survey offers the chance to record your views. It will be open for just two weeks, so please take the opportunity to have your say.’
The online survey is split into three parts, with separate sections for individual passengers, an employer or business in the freight/shipping sector and an employer or business owner in the tourism sector. Each part covers multiple choice options under Sea Services, Customer Services and Additional Services, with the opportunity to provide more detailed observations towards the end.
The survey can be found by visiting the Isle of Man Government’s online consultation hub at https://consult.gov.im/
For those unable to access the consultation hub, a paper version of the survey can be requested by emailing email@example.com, phoning +44 1624 686613 or by calling into the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal in Douglas.
The process will run for 2 weeks, finishing on 7 October 2018.
The current User Agreement and its extensions can be found on the Strategic Sea Services section of the Department’s website.