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Isle of Man Ferry Service 'vulnerable'

29th February, 2012

The ferry service to the Isle of Man operated by the Steam Packet Company is one of the most vulnerable in the north west of Europe, a travel watchdog has said.

Consumer group, Travel Watch Isle of Man, claimed the island was the only community in the area dependant on a single vessel, Ben My Chree, for winter freight and passenger services.

The organisation welcomed the government's decision to review the user agreement with the Steam Packet company.

The Company’s fleet, frequency of service and destinations are just some of the areas up for discussion with Infrastructure chiefs, if the Council of Ministers approves the holding of planned talks.

Infrastructure Minister David Cretney MHK said the planned talks came in the wake of a meeting last month about whether the existing User Agreement ‘remained in the best interest of our island in its current form or whether any changes were needed’.

Currently the Isle of Man Steam Packet only have two vessels in their fleet, the multi purpose all weather Ro-Ro vessel, Ben My Chree and the seasonally operated fastcraft, Manannan which is restricted by wave height and normally does not carry freight.

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