Packet publishes full offer

The Steam Packet has pledged to invest in a new fleet

The Steam Packet has pledged to invest in a new fleet

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The Steam Packet Company has published full details of its offer to the government to continue providing lifeline sea services to the island.

Late last month the Company presented its vision for the future of sea services to Tynwald, and published a four-page summary leaflet outlining the highlights.

Today it has made available the full ‘offer’ document which explains in detail the business case, including the promise to invest £170m 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 government was considering the future of strategic sea services beyond the end of the current user agreement in 2026.

Last week, passenger watchdog TravelWatch called for the full text of the offer to be made public. It said the offer has attractive features but the devil is in the detail.

Steam Packet Company chief executive Mark Woodward said: ‘After many months of careful consideration, we presented a plan for the future of 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.’

Among the promises made in the offer are replacements for Ben-my-Chree and Manannan between 2019 and 2023, with the retention of the Ben as a back-up vessel.

To read the offer document visit http://bit.ly/1VHkBag

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