I WAS delighted to read about the detailed submission by our MP and council leader, about cross-Solent connectivity, to an independent review of UK transport infrastructure.

I was unaware, as I’m sure are many of your readers, our ferry companies have no obligations whatsoever in relation to the services they provide.

Read more: Don't forget the Isle of Wight in connectivity review:

While there are discounts for certain groups (such as those requiring medical treatment which is not available on the Island), it is unfortunate that there is not some form of regulation requiring the operators to provide a minimum level of service and providing guidance on fare structures.

I am aware that, during recent lockdowns, there has been some permitted co-ordination between the operators – in discussion with the relevant authorities – but this has not been without controversy.

The complete cessation of the Ryde-Portsmouth FastCat service caused much inconvenience for Islanders (even more so when the hovercraft was unable to operate due to inclement weather).

I am not a lover of quangos but It would seem entirely sensible to set up a permanent body or regulator to oversee ferry service levels and pricing structures. Such a body would need the ability to enforce recommendations or to fine operators who did not comply.

At the same time, the ferry companies must be given the flexibility to innovate, generate a profit (to reinvest in new infrastructure) and still compete against each other.

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