Inter-island ferry subsidy will not be repeated in 2019

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AN INTER-ISLAND ferry trial has cost the States of Guernsey £20,000 and will not be repeated this summer.

Manche Iles Express’s Granville. She and another vessel, Victor Hugo, suffered technical problems in 2018. (Picture by Rob Currie, 23798561)

The service between Guernsey and Jersey was operated by Manches Iles Express last summer to see if a service would be viable.

However the company struggled when two of its vessels – Victor Hugo and Granville – suffered technical problems early in the season.

‘Unfortunately due to technical faults, there were no sailings in the month of July resulting in only two months of operation,’ said a States' spokesman.

‘The additional sailings brought in a total of 333 passengers from Jersey in June and August.'

Economic Development said it believed that the trial was a useful exercise in understanding demand for inter-island, sea-based connectivity, but that the committee would not be repeating the exercise this year.

That meant that it cost the island just over £60 for each passenger that was brought over from Jersey.

It had been hoped that the service would result in greater tourism between the islands, as there has been a shortage of day trips being offered by Condor in recent years.

Economic Development decided against subsidising a service using Condor in 2017.

And the Manche Iles offering was criticised by Sports Tourism Action Group founder David Piesing, who said that it did nothing to improve connectivity for inter-island sporting fixtures.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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