We wrote to Nikki Kaye, MP, seeking her assistance to resolve an issue concerning the use of Gold Cards in the new Explore ferry service. In short, the government reimburses the two other operators, Fullers and Sealink, when they provide free travel for Gold Card holders, but the new entrant, Explore, receives no reimbursement. Apparently, this is due to a government moratorium on new services, although this is not a new service, just a new entrant to an existing service.
We understand that Explore are not currently charging fares to Gold Card users, but it is easy to see how such a situation, if allowed to continue, would soon become unsustainable. In effect, Explore would have to recover the costs involved from their other paying clients or start to charge Gold Card users, who benefit from fully subsidised travel on their competitors’ services.
FUG welcomes the introduction of competition and hopes that Ms. Kaye can persuade those responsible within government to review a decision that appears to have anti-competitive effects.