The possibility of government subsidies for ferry services to the Isle of Wight has been ruled out by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, but there are plans for further talks with Solent operators after a meeting organised by the Isle of Wight Council in Cowes was attended by representatives from Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel.

Meeting a senior UK minister for the first time, the companies explained the barriers faced in investing to secure affordable and accessible services and infrastructure. After talks with Wightlink chief executive Russell Kew, Red Funnel commercial operations director Murray Carter, and Hovertravel chief executive Henry Game, Mr McLoughlin welcomed the collective approach operators had taken to grow the area’s ferry market by investment and through activity such as greater tourism promotion.

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