Isle of Man News - POSTED Mon 01-09-2014

MHKs seek Steam Packet answers

by Joanne Clague

MHKs seek Steam Packet answers - picture

Douglas MHK David Cretney has called on the chief executive of the Steam Packet to respond to criticism over the bank holiday weekend disruption.

There's been an angry reaction to a claim from the Steam Packet that the behaviour of a minority of passengers was 'atrocious' after services were cancelled because of engineering faults with the Manannan (see our interview with a passenger reaction-to-ferry-saga).  

On social media Mr Cretney said he was still waiting for answers from the ferry operator. He said: 'If the behaviour was as you describe why were no arrests made? This is not the fault of the Captain or staff but it requires a better response than so far offered...'

Meanwhile, another Douglas MHK, Chris Thomas, says customer service could be an issue in the ongoing review of the government's user agreement with the Steam Packet Company.

A review of the User Agreement was set up at the end of 2011 to examine investment in ships, in Douglas harbour, frequency and quality of services. Mr Thomas, who recently became a political member of the Department of Infrastructure, said he would be taking the issue to his department.

He said: 'Government's Agenda for Change document stated that Government intended that the review was completed by March 2014, but it remains on-going I believe. Customer service could be an issue for this review. I think the ownership and debt treatments in the UA need to be reviewed as well, especially given recent developments affecting the Portugese bank.

'The fastcraft issue is also one that should be considered, as is the destination port in England and any work that might be needed in the Harbour in Douglas.'

There was no-one available to comment from the Steam Packet today.

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