As announced earlier this year, the cross-Solent operator has invested in a new booking system that will improve the reliability of reservations and ticketing for all customers. Its forthcoming introduction has enabled Wightlink to develop a new simpler and fairer pricing structure, which for some travelers will see price reduction but for others, a price increase.
The new ‘CarRes’ system, developed by Finnish firm Carus, is already used by 26 companies across Europe and around the world, and will go live at Wightlink at midnight on 26th November 2013.
The new pricing structure is based on two key principles: the size of a vehicle (the space it occupies on board) and the level of demand for a particular sailing.
The key changes include:
- Fair pricing based on how much space a vehicle takes up on board
- Fair pricing based on the demand for each specific sailing
- All vehicles 5m and shorter in length will be charged the same price and vans 5m and shorter will be eligible to travel as cars if they book a tourist ticket
- Tickets will be for ‘car + 7 passengers ‘ instead of ‘car +4’ at present
- No fees for making changes to bookings
- A move to new Multilink Passes, which can be ‘topped up’ online, by phone and in person
- Simpler ways for Islanders to prove they have an Island residence, and thereby qualify for Multilink Passes
- No charges for extra passengers in vans and freight vehicles
- The extension of e-ticketing to include freight and coach customers
- New ‘junior coach’ rate for school pupils and groups of young people
- Removal of supplement for double deck coaches
- All commercial customers spending more than £1,000 per annum will be eligible to apply for a credit account
Commercial Director Clive Tilley said:
“CarRes will not only give our customers and staff a more reliable booking system, it also allows us to introduce a new pricing structure that is fairer and simpler for everyone who travels with Wightlink. It removes many anomalies in our present system and will enable customers to make savings by travelling at quieter times.
“We’ve listened carefully to feedback from our customers and, as a result, one of the key changes we’re introducing is extending our ‘Car +4’ ticket into a ‘Car +7’. These enhanced conditions will also be extended to our new Multilink Passes, which currently only include the car and driver, so it’s a real benefit for Islanders.
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“Although this new pricing structure is revenue neutral overall for Wightlink, we recognise that inevitably fares will rise for some customers and drop for others. To avoid two price changes within a few weeks, we’ll be introducing our annual RPI price adjustment at the same time. I’m pleased to be able to report that, for the second year running, we have managed to keep price increases for Island products at below inflation. Other tickets will increase by between 3 and 4%.”
Full details of the new fares will be available at www.wightlink.co.uk/fares.