25 January 2008
A coordinated approach to sea transport is being proposed by Jersey and Guernsey governments. The Minister for Economic Development, Senator Philip Ozouf and the Chairman of Guernsey’s External Transport Group, Deputy Stuart Falla, have agreed in principle to a joint sea transport policy. The proposal has now been referred to the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority and is being put out to consultation in Guernsey.
The two Bailiwicks recognise it is in the best interests of Islanders to maintain and develop year-round, long term, reliable, robust and reasonably priced ferry services. Furthermore, these services should be of sufficient quality and frequency to meet the needs of both leisure and business travellers.
They also acknowledge that the future of a good service level and reasonably priced fares will be best achieved as a result of a strong relationship between operator and customer rather than by over reliance on government intervention. However, they believe that in order to effectively achieve these aims they will need to establish some overarching rules.
Neither Jersey nor Guernsey would pro-actively seek new operators on any current route until 31 December 2013. However, in the event of market or operator failure they reserve the right to run a tender process.
A decision whether or not to seek tenders for services from 1 January 2014 will be taken jointly by both Islands. Should a tender process be implemented the current operators will be given 18 months notice of this intention to tender.
In conclusion, the two Islands acknowledge the mechanisms each use to manage the routes, control market access and overall administer the harbours will differ, but they maintain that the broad policy structure made in these proposals will be adhered to by both administrations.
A copy of the proposals has been sent out to both Condor Ferries and HD Ferries for comment and the two authorities have already welcomed some feedback from interested parties.
A copy of the draft policy can be found by clicking the following link - CI Passenger Car Ferry Sea Transport Draft Policy Statement