OFT Market Study Findings into Isle of Wight Ferry Services

14-10-2009 The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) today confirmed it will not be referring Isle of Wight ferry services to the Competition Commission following the completion of its Market Study into the Isle of Wight Ferry Services which commenced back in February 2009.

James Fulford, Red Funnel CEO said: “We welcome the OFT’s final conclusion which repeats its initial findings that fares are reasonable, and services to and from the Isle of Wight are both frequent and reliable. The report also concludes that cross-Solent Ferry travel does indeed operate as a competitive market. Consumers can now be confident that the Isle of Wight offers a high quality, good value holiday and leisure destination year round.”

“However a review like this always throws up findings that we can all learn from, and we welcome the OFT’s suggestion that we publish clear information for consumers to share as part of our ongoing focus on improving our service. We’ve undertaken a raft of initiatives to improve communication this year and we will be publishing monthly customer satisfaction research and more detailed service reliability data on our website to enable customers to easily assess our performance.”

Red Funnel initiatives this year have included;

  • offering live Twitter feeds from ships detailing arrivals and departures to enable travellers to track timings
  • setting up SMS messaging service so travellers can be notified instantly of any news and service information
  • setting up a Red Funnel Facebook page for similar easy access to news and information
  • renovating departure areas in Southampton and West Cowes to include better waiting facilities and clear widescreen displays showing ship movements, live Red Funnel news and live rail information.
  • investment in a new vessel for the Red Jet Hi-Speed service

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