From Molly Attrill, Niton:

I DESPAIR over the negative responses in your letters page to Bob Seely’s efforts to gain a public service obligation on the Isle of Wight ferries. 

This is not a party political issue but a matter which affects the whole community and the economy of the Island.

It is indisputable that in the past few years fares have rocketed to an unacceptable level while the reliability of the service has noticeably deteriorated.

The fare structure is wholly inappropriate for the situation, because it is based on the myth of choice and competition.

Living on the Island, we have no choice of alternative modes of transport across The Solent — the ferries are the vital public transport link, they are not an option.  

Giant ferries making fewer crossings and the apparent lack of back-up vessels when mechanical breakdowns occur (which is increasingly frequent) does not make for a dependable service.  

We are the mugs who pay top price but bear the entire consequential inconvenience and business loss when the ferries fail, so it is not surprising the companies can post massive profits.

It is important the obligation to provide a fair and reliable service is recognised, most particularly by the Department for Transport, which presumably is the licensing authority and I would urge as many people as possible to write to it on this issue. 

In this particular instance we should all be supporting Mr Seely’s work for the Island — and, NO, we don’t need a fixed link!