HOST OF WEEKEND FASTCAT CANCELLATIONS OWING TO STAFF AVAILABILTY ISSUES

An absence of a critical crew member has forced Wightlink to cancel a raft of sailings on its FastCat service this weekend.

Wightlink says that they haven’t been able to find suitable cover in time, so the cross-Solent operator has had to cancel sailings as a result.

The following sailings have been cancelled on both Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th August.

Article continues below this advertisement

10:45, 11:45, 12:45, 13:45, 14:45, 15:45, 16:45 & 17:45 from Portsmouth Harbour, and 11:15, 12:15, 13:15, 14:15, 15:15, 16:15, 17:15 & 18:15 from Ryde Pier Head. Subsequently, there will be just 1 sailing per hour.

A Wightlink spokesperson has said:

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this action may cause but we have been unable to source short notice cover for the absent members of staff and so have taken this action as a last resort.

“All booked customers have been notified and moved to alternate sailings.”

Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.

Article continues below this advertisement
The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
28 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rowdy Rodney Pimple
Rowdy Rodney Pimple
8 months ago

Surely it’s easier and faster to post the sailings that are still going ahead. 8 hours of disruption for 1 member of staff. Crazy way to mis-run a business.

Colin Sharpe
Colin Sharpe
8 months ago

I say again, Service – What Service ?

Wolf
Wolf
8 months ago

Wightlink are nearly as useless as the floating bridge !!!

Mel
Mel
8 months ago

Surely it’s about time a fixed link between the island and the mainland these companies hold island residences to ransom either by the fares or sailings. Yes I am one of the few left a genuine caulkhead

Kev
Kev
Reply to  Mel
8 months ago

You are correct we are held to ransom, where are the multi-millions of pounds coming from to build a fixed link? Government ( no chance ) Island businesses ( no chance ) Island Residents ( no chance ) Holiday makers ( no chance ). Even IF a majority of Island Residents wanted one it won’t happen, BECAUSE OF THE COST!

Mel are you prepared to pay for it ? (No chance.) When there is no majority in favour and it only benefits Island residents the rest of the population of the UK has no interest. It is never going to happen.

Bembridgebarnie
Bembridgebarnie
Reply to  Kev
8 months ago

Dartford crossing, second severn crossing, skye bridge all built on the basis of tolls, tthere would be any number of ventrure capitaliss that would be interested in such a venture especially if Hampshire and the IOW council said they supported it.

Tony
Tony
Reply to  Bembridgebarnie
8 months ago

Who would put the money up front?

Ex Islander
Ex Islander
Reply to  Tony
8 months ago

The same people that own island roads (in part owned by the dictator of Oman) I would imagine

Kev
Kev
Reply to  Bembridgebarnie
8 months ago

IOW Council would never support it, the infrastructure could never support a surge in traffic, and make no mistake the vast majority do NOT support a fixed link, then there is the question of finding venture capitalists interested and the toll costs involved, and let’s not forget they would then hold a fixed link monopoly and that would mean dealing with just another company out to please the shareholders with big profits

Be very very careful what you wish for once built it’s here for many many years with the untold problems it would bring. The current links are less than ideal don’t add something just as bad or worse.

Sid
Sid
Reply to  Kev
8 months ago

The isle of wight council would never be able to support it even if they wanted to, being they are already in multi millions in debt.

bobthebuilder
bobthebuilder
Reply to  Bembridgebarnie
8 months ago

How many 100s of millions would it cost?

Biker252
Biker252
Reply to  Mel
8 months ago

If there was a fixed link what do you think would happen to the foot routes?
I believe would all disappear as they don’t make much money and be less with a fixed link option. Or would see the foot prices go up hugely. So if want to go to Portsmouth or Southampton or Lymington be forced to drive.
Be bad for people needing to go to school or work there as will take longer.

Wight Knight
Wight Knight
Reply to  Biker252
8 months ago

With a Fixed Link, you could ‘go athert’ by bus or tram!

bobthebuilder
bobthebuilder
Reply to  Mel
8 months ago

please can we ban this nonsence of a fixed link..while the earth spins and the sun shines there will never be one. stop it now.

Frankie B
Frankie B
8 months ago

It’s a total disgrace, all over one member of staff !! unbelievable !

Rainbow
Rainbow
Reply to  Frankie B
8 months ago

If that member of Staff was the Captain or first Officer and you employed an extra person or several with the nessasary qualification, the cost which would be considerable has to be found from increased fares,, if the people were available, I would rather wait for the next Ferries and considering some of the Weather the Wightlink Cats keep going when most everything else stops to get us home, that includes the Bridges that shut when the wind is blowing.

yam
yam
Reply to  Frankie B
8 months ago

Everyone knows the importance of the TEABOY

Tony
Tony
8 months ago

They used to blame covid, no excuses now, not enough staff.

Quaesetor
Quaesetor
8 months ago

There’s no profit in resilience planning and management know that we have no choice but to wait. The apology is insincere.

Just say No
Just say No
8 months ago

The only way round this (and the same applies to other transport providers) is to have surplus key members of staff on standby. That would directly impact the company’s profits and would have to be agreed by the board and shareholders. Given that Wightlink made substantial losses last year, that’s unlikely to happen. I’m not aware of any licence or permit currently required for running cross-Solent ferries (correct me if I’m wrong) so there is nothing anyone can do to enforce standards of service, apart from users voting with their feet. That’s not much of an option, given the three operators available – unless one of the companies ups their game. Also unlikely, given the different routes. Cross-Solent ferries are not a public service.

Big DC
Big DC
Reply to  Just say No
8 months ago

I disagree. Succession planning is all that is required here. Qualify the next rank down to the next rank up and they can step in when required. No need for an extra head(s). As for the losses I think you need to read tonight’s letter to the editor re WL

Just say No
Just say No
Reply to  Big DC
8 months ago

That’s a very good idea. The only issue I can see with that is that the ‘stand by’ would, rightly, expect to be paid more for their qualification, but perhaps less than the active officer. Yes, I read the excellent letter, which appeared after I had commented. It certainly helped to explain where the massive income disappears.

Grumpy grannie
Grumpy grannie
Reply to  Just say No
8 months ago

Having staff on standby would not affect the profits as much as is thought – there would be less cancellations so the business would become more reliable so more travellers would wait in the cafes drinking coffee. All passenger transport systems ran with staff on standby until the accountants decided not to pay people “sitting around drinking tea all day” but they were doing far more than that.

R Good
R Good
8 months ago

Ironic that they have enough room on other sailings to be able to move passengers to alternative sailings, a way of saving numerous crossings a day at what should be their busiest time of year.

Quayman 111
Quayman 111
8 months ago

Is it just a coincidence that the trains are strike this weekend

Chris Grant
Chris Grant
8 months ago

They should be held to account for the abismal service. I don’t know why they bother to appologise as it means nothing. They just expect the travelling public to roll over & except it.

TrainDriverRob
TrainDriverRob
Reply to  Chris Grant
8 months ago

Because it’s a private LTD company as opposed to a franchise (like the railway), they can effectively operate how they want with absolutely no penalties.

If SWR cancel a train due to lack of crew, the contract fine is anything between £15000 and £35000.

bobthebuilder
bobthebuilder
8 months ago

how can you operate like this? pathetic.

 

Join our daily newsletter