Deputy tells Condor ‘get another vessel’

HIGH aspirations for Guernsey’s travel links are needed if tourism is to flourish, a member of Economic Development has said, as she called on Condor to address the Liberation’s ‘lack of resilience and reliability’ through a fifth vessel.

merrettferries
Deputy Jennifer Merrett, a member of Economic Development, said that 2016 had ended on a positive note for sea travel links but ‘there is still quite a long way to go’ to get back to the peak numbers of 2014. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 17341430)

Quarterly sea travel figures released this week showed that passenger numbers increased across the board compared with the same period in 2016.

However, Deputy Jennifer Merrett, a member of the Committee for Economic Development, said figures from 2015 were a more ‘realistic’ baseline of the state of sea travel – with 1,300 fewer passengers in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 2015.

‘The quarter one figures are encouraging compared to the quarter one figures in 2016, which were poor and showed a lack of confidence [in sea links],’ she said.

‘That is very encouraging, but we need to make a realistic comparison with the right figures.

'That means considering our historical patterns and our aspirations for tourism in the future.’

Deputy Merrett said the ambition was to ‘grow tourism’ beyond the levels of 2015, but stressed that an addition to Condor’s fleet would be needed to do this.

‘We have to be realistic that the issue is we don’t have any resilience, and if something happens to the Liberation, there is no real back-up,’ she said.

‘A fifth vessel would have advantages for resilience and reliability, especially for day trips, many of which are inter-island.

‘It is very encouraging that Condor are potentially investigating that possibility.’

Comments for: "Deputy tells Condor ‘get another vessel’"

RobB

and you think they will listen to you?!

SM

All the islanders and tourists ask for is a reliable service at reasonable fares, as we had in years gone by. Not too much to ask for...

It could still be done with two ferries:-

The first being a conventional ferry with full facilities (which the Clipper is not), based in Weymouth with the route being Weymouth - Guernsey (overnight) - Jersey - Guernsey - Weymouth

The second being a fast ferry such as the Rapide (not the Liability!) based in St Malo with the daytime route being St Malo - Jersey - Guernsey - Jersey - St Malo twice daily (which I acknowledge is with the loss of the current occasional direct Guernsey/St Malo service).

This would also give the opportunity to reintroduce proper inter-island day trips and the additional passengers/revenues that would generate, as well as the economic benefits to the islands.

100% Carre.

At last. Well done deputy Merrett someone with a backbone now come on all you other deputies back her up and get jersey involved.

guern abroad

It is not only about mechanical resilience but a boat that can sail if it is slightly windy, if the waves are slightly bigger (we are still waiting on the promised 5 metres that the Liberation was supposed to give us).

SM

I don't think having the promised 5 metre wave limit would make any difference - as soon as there's a slight puff of wind they cancel because she's apparently unable to dock safely (particularly in Jersey)!

Alvin

Hang on there !

Please read the printed version of this article. In it, Deputy Merrett is quoted as saying that the number of air passengers this first quarter has gone down slightly, and mentioned a figure of just 200 passengers less.

The actual decline is actually over 22600 !! That is a whopping decline of almost 13 % !!

Sure, there were a lot of flight disruptions due to fog, Easter came in March last year, and sea passengers between the island and Jersey or UK did go up by about 5400.

But the figure is still worrying, and even more worrying is that a deputy does not seem to understand the figures.

Will Condor do anything ? No. Will the States do anything ? No.

Just maybe commission another report or two, costing thousands more and wasting more time. One is still waiting for the Aurigny review. Which probably will not provide any greater insights than the Strategic Air Links Report which has been read, filed away and basically forgotten.

Walrus

The promised 5m limit of the liberation was all rubbish and will certainly never happen. I've recently been on her in only a 3m wave and the journey was absolutely horrendous with injuries and buckets of vomit everywhere and £1000s of damage on the car deck. 5m conditions will bring serious injuries and insurance write offs.

TC

Condor is owned by a huge company the other side of the World. The company is only concerned with keeping its shareholders happy. The company's puppet in Guernsey can ask for another boat, or even one suitable for crossing the English Channel, but he won't get his wish unless he can back it up with projected profits. If Gsy's 'contract' with Condor allows the company to operate under its own terms then Gsy has been cheated by our politicians who didn't know what they were doing signing away our lifeline routes. The company can hardly be blamed for taking advantage of our naïve and ill-informed politicians. If Gsy has got any teeth under the terms of the 'contract' then our present politicians MUST issue Condor with ultimatums to provide a better service. For all I know there are tax advantages for the company having a off-shoot in Gsy. If that's the case the company will respond favourably to maintain those advantages. If that isn't the case the company will pull out of the Channel Islands. Either way Gsy is better off!

nocon

Don`t hold your breaths, It`s going to take more than one Deputy`s wish list to convince Condor of the Islands genuine needs.

SM`s thoughts on overnight conventional ferry from Weymouth would take us back to the 1960`s when day trippers used to flood the island and was a reliable service.

Wouldn`t it be good if a shipbuilt in retro style of The Sarnia/Ceasaria or St Patrick could be re introduced with the same time tables advertising nostalgic trips to The Channel Islands. With good marketing, surely a winner both for the islands, Condor AND Weymouth.

I used to make that trip back in the 1960s regularly and the ships were always running and always on time.

nocon

Don`t hold your breaths, It`s going to take more than one Deputy`s wish list to convince Condor of the Islands genuine needs.

SM`s thoughts on overnight conventional ferry from Weymouth would take us back to the 1960`s when day trippers used to flood the island and was a reliable service.

Wouldn`t it be good if a shipbuilt in retro style of The Sarnia/Ceasaria or St Patrick could be re introduced with the same time tables advertising nostalgic trips to The Channel Islands. With good marketing, surely a winner both for the islands, Condor AND Weymouth.

I used to make that trip back in the 1960s regularly and the ships were always running and always on time.

Hillbilly

How about having the figures split to show numbers for each individual boat so that a more accurate comparison between HSC and conventional ferry, can be made, preferably on a month by month basis?

Alvin

They are split month by month, but by route, which gives a pretty clear indication which boat, and appear quarterly here along with the airport figures :

http://www.guernseytrademedia.com/facts-figures

Walrus

Condor (or it's Aussie crook owners) need to be told that fast ferries are not popular in northern Europe. In fact there are now only 4 fast ferries operating out of the UK mainland (Condor Liberation, Normandie Express, Jonathan Swift and the Mananan). P&O and Stena have ditched all their fast services and went back to purely conventional. I'm surprised Condor has not yet gone bust, previous fast ferry only operator Hoverspeed could not survive. We desperately need something built to the spec of the 70s/80s car ferries that successfully served the islands (not the bloney Sarnia/Ceseria - these were not RO/RO!).

Perhaps Australia should stick to exporting Fosters and Boomerangs and give up the shipbuilding industry.

chris1

Condor says. "GET LOST". Pretty much the same as us telling the Deputies what we want and the reply is identical.

Donkey Boiler

6th-20th May is National Ferry Fortnight. All ferry operators around the UK, large and small, are offering great deals on their various routes. Condor are making a half hearted effort, but any deals they are offering only apply FROM the UK or France. Island residents are again excluded.

Island Wide Voting

I know this thread is about the parlous state of our sea travel but as there is no header about the excellent anti-runway extension piece by Yvonne Burford on page 12 of Friday 12 May Press I shall slip this post in here

Unlike the regularly published twaddle by Yerby and Roffey YB has produced a very compelling, well argued full page piece entitled 'There's no pot of gold at the end of the runway'

Unlike the special section reserved for such twaddle on the Press website YB's excellent effort does not get a mention to allow for readers comments.I suspect that is because Mr Editor is pretty much in favour of blowing yet another 40M at the airport

By the way,I hope that today's very sensible letter from 'name and address supplied' knocking Roffey's latest populist obsession with pavement surfing makes 'the letter of the day' spot

guern abroad

I'll make an effort to read that sounds well reasoned.

GM

IWV

It was an excellent article. 100% accurate and it totally debunked, point by point, the groundless optimism expressed by those who cannot put a coherent business case together to justify lengthening the runway.

It would be a total waste of money.

Those who look enviously towards Jersey really need to do more research. Easyjet get a massive subsidy from SoJ to fly there, and BA have to compete with that. Easyjet's annual subsidy is said to be far larger than Aurigny's total annual losses. I'll leave that point hanging for reflection....

jjlehto

Is the article anywhere online?

Island Wide Voting

No.It appears to have been totally suppressed in Peter Mandelson style

Thank goodness it managed to slip through in printed form so that our more 'feet on the ground' deputies can avail themselves of some common sense to counter the pie-in-the- sky spin of those who can't wait to blow what remains of the 330M bond

Perhaps Radio Guernsey might do a live interview with YB based on the article

As for GM's assertion that Jersey have to bribe EasyJet with millions of taxpayer's money every year, that indeed appears to be the general pattern of that airline's business model.What really stinks is that those multi million annual payments are regularly and deliberately hidden in the Jersey States accounts

If Joe Bloggs Ltd on the High Street tried that 'commercially sensitive' caper they'd be up before the beak charged with false accounting quicker than you could come up with a revised a Condor Liberation schedule

jjlehto

Perhaps the GP would like to comment as to why it's not on line? I noticed the editor commenting a few days ago on the price increase.

Alvin

I would not consider it a question of being suppressed - large size "opinion" articles are usually not covered in the website version of the Press with the exception of the regular contributors.

Likewise, Richard Digard's recent excellent article on Aurigny also never made the web-site edition.

Just goes to show to the moaners who were complaining about the price increase of the Press that the paper does represent very good value for money.

guern abroad

I have just read the article, sums it up very clearly exactly why lengthening the runway is not justified. Makes me rather scared to have such blinkered Deputies in positions to risk spending so much money with out the ability to be able to quantify or qualify any benfit, 'they will come' is just not good enough.

If someone had the ability to dig into Jersey and actually get the cost of paying EasyJet to fly there it could well show just how much money would be lost yearly on a depleted service and conversely show just how good a deal Aurigny is.

Burdock

Very well said IWV. So unfair that an option wasn't given to comment specifically on this well put together piece.

Dogwatch

I wonder if we will ever again have reliable, affordable air and sea links to the UK, Jersey & France. If it does ever happen, it will be just my luck to have fallen off my perch by then!

Come on Condor, get real and give us the service we need, not the third rate, high cost offering, Hobson's choice which you try to get away with these days! Start by getting rid of that old bucket the Libby which has done us no favours at all!