FRIST Campaign Could Jeopardise Land’s End Runway, Says Transport Vice Chair

scillonian 2012The vice chairman of the Council’s transport committee says FRIST’s campaigning could jeopardise plans to hard surface Land’s End airport.

Cllr Steve Sims says the campaign group, who want subsidised winter sailings of the Scillonian III, are pursuing a Public Service Obligation for the off-season service.

But funding the operations, which wouldn’t be commercially viable, could prove a challenge and Steve says if a year-round boat is forced, it removes the argument for a hard runway at Land’s End.

He feels locals would prefer the option to make the air service more reliable.

Steve accuses FRIST of being selective with the information they’ve used to support their campaign.

He says their public statement claiming that we’re a step closer to a winter boat trial gives the impression that the goal posts have moved when, he says, “the sports ground is closed for the foreseeable future.”

Steve feels the FRIST campaign could be doing more harm that good and four councillors have told him they’ve heard from people on the mainland who believe the islands are effectively cut off.

And while he says he knows that is not FRIST’s intention, people do misread the coverage.

Steve acknowledges that FRIST has worked hard but he says he’d rather they pause their campaign or better still pursue more useful goals, like supporting the hardened runway at Land’s End or the quay extension at St Mary’s.

We contacted FRIST for a comment yesterday but have not received a response.



39 Responses to FRIST Campaign Could Jeopardise Land’s End Runway, Says Transport Vice Chair

  1. Kev Wright June 16, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Regardless of opinions – I thought this article might be of interest as it involves a similar community hoping to increase tourism.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-22921410

  2. veronika June 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Why are we still talking about this, Its a no goer, lets move on

  3. Jeff Eastick June 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    From all the comments posted herewith, this is obviously a topic that splits opinion on Scilly. From an outsider’s perspective , who loves the Islands and visits regularly , whilst an all year boat service plus the hardening of the Land’s End runway would be the ultimate solution , I would have thought that the initial priority must be to attract more visitors in the core holiday months and that upgrading the Land’s End runway must therefore be the more productive solution in the short term. If FRIST are then able to get reduction in sailing costs , so much the better , but this would seem a distant hope given the comments from the Transport Minister. Winter Scillonian 111 sailings will never make sense on purely economic criteria and are unlikely to attract more winter visitors , but I can see the attraction of winter sailings to local residents. In the meantime , it is vital that Scilly makes it clear to everyone that it is open for business and getting there just takes a little forward planning , but this was ever the case.

    • Kev June 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Jeff – I don’t think it can be assumed, or realistically expected that visitors will be eligible for subsidised travel. I would imagine only residents would be eligible. I can’t see how subsidised transport for visitors could be justified or considered fair competition by other tourism businesses, but who knows! But I agree with you, more visitors is key and improve the airport first.

  4. Kev June 11, 2013 at 9:48 am

    A winter sailing service using the Scillonian makes no sense whatsoever. I don’t believe islanders will be queuing up to make the crossing in the winter sea conditions, when flying is an option, and especially if the runway is hardened. They will also be the inevitable cancellations due to weather and sea conditions, there are legal limits that prevent the Scillonian from sailing in certain conditions. Utilising such a huge asset for such small numbers is economically daft. The fuel costs will be the same or more due to the weather, minimum crew numbers will still be required (legally) so the costs (and therefore subsidy required) would be huge. It would make much more sense to focus on improving the robustness of the air service, so it is more weather resilient. If islanders really want a winter sailing wouldn’t it make more sense to set up our own ferry service utilising a much smaller vessel, that could operate more flexibly according to islander demand? Wouldn’t that also suit those vocal individuals who have no love for the ISSCo……

  5. Kev Wright June 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

    If planes are so useless then I can’t help but wonder why The Steamship Company have just bought another one and not purchased a helicopter instead and run that from Land’s End.

    Smaller landing space to be hardened, not so much problem with wind, unlikely to “go technical” if it’s newer, better navigational aids for flying in fog like Culdrose can do, not reliant on Newquay airport which seems to be in a spot of bother itself, nice new terminal there, probably cheaper in the long run that running the Scillonian all year… possibly even cost effective!

  6. al June 10, 2013 at 11:53 am

    It is usual for boats to be seaworthy for most of the year. Any economic issues for laying Scillonian III up for winter maintenance etc would need to be addressed within any subsidy. Perhaps it will not be possible but taking action is far more intelligent and helpful than simply exclaiming that it cannot be done. Believing that tourists should not know about the issues, apart from being deceitful, is not very constructive. As a regular visitor, publicity and discussion about the problems does not put me off whilst actually being delayed at considerable expense might. I wholeheartedly applaud groups like FRIST who are actually trying to do something about it and lobby for better air and sea transport to Scilly.

  7. Adam Morton, St.Martins. June 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I have heard nothing to suggest that the aviation authorities would permit landing on top of a cliff above a town even with nav aids fitted ,its not like Newquay with reasonable margin for error!A hardened runway should solve the flying to Newquay problem but won’t allow For fog.

  8. Tony June 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m prepared to admit that, whereas sometimes that void’s filled by someone who knows just as little as me but wants to pretend that they’re in control and have the answer. It seems we get our advice from a local business with direct and massive financial interests in travel, and then Parsons Brinkerhoff in terms of air travel as well, and the rest of it is just guess work from members and officers.

    In terms of which link makes more sense to invest in, I don’t know because there’s all sorts of factors that impact on it potentially. Is the price of aviation fuel increasing? Are we supposed to be going green? Would a rival airline be allowed to use Lands End? Which would visitors prefer to use? What about airport security legislation, will that impact massively?

  9. Not a happy chappy. June 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Extract from Mr Sims last post. === Regarding Happy Chappy’s comment. In my initial draft I wrote. “A subsidised winter ferry would be fantastic for the islands and I support the idea in principle, but it won’t happen”. But I changed it because I was advised that it would lose votes (4 maybe in retrospect). In retrospect I shouldn’t have changed it. However you have reposted presumably under the assumption that it undermines my position, it doesn’t.

    Oh dear. So it seems that the man of principle does a u-turn for the sake of votes, even though, to his credit, he now seems to regret it.

    I for one am disappointed, and suspect many others who voted for him will be.

    I feel it undermines his position and I am sure others will agree, even if he does not.

    • Kev Wright June 10, 2013 at 10:50 am

      Are you suggesting that councilors – or anyone going for elected positions – might tailor their manifesto slightly to help obtain votes!? OMG!!! *shocked face*

    • Beth June 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I can vouch for Steve’s integrity. He was all for being totally up-front about his opinions on this issue in his manifesto and his friends (myself included) advised him to tone it down a little. He can do a lot of good here but only if he actually gets in. Steve is not a man who courts votes. He says what he thinks – he was actually quite forthright at the hustings. And he gets on here and debates the issues, whether that affects his popularity or not – which is surely a good thing.

    • Steve Sims June 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Sorry for popping up again but I feel I must respond to this. In what way is ” I remain unsure as to how achievable this is” substantively different to “It won’t happen”. FRIST have put a lot of work into this and I was advised that it would be inappropriate to dismiss their input.
      This wasn’t part of the manifesto, where I made no reference to it because I saw it as a side issue. It was a response to the Radio Scilly questions.

      What, if any, changes would you like to see made to transport provision for the islands? What would you do to influence this if you were elected?
      Clearly I’d like to see improvements and so would everybody else. I believe the hard surface runway at Land’s End will happen, although when is another matter. A subsidised winter ferry would be fantastic for the islands and I support the idea in principle, but remain unsure as to how achievable this is. I would also require more information before I could give an opinion on the possibility of a new helicopter service. But what would I do, or more to the point what can I do? I can certainly encourage the council to work as hard as it already did at the failed route partnership to give any new proposal the best chance of going forwards and do more to encourage our Cornish counterparts to be more proactive on their side.

      Which is the position I still hold. If Unhappy Chappy thinks that rephrasing a sentence to make it more palatable is reflection on my integrity or principles then that’s his prerogative. I hope s/he will forgive me if I don’t lose too much sleep over it.

      • Kev Wright June 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        And can I also point out that Steve didn’t lie here. He simply took a line out of what he was going to say. That’s not lying, that’s shortening a statement. Steve seems to be the first councillor who’s been happy to openly discuss his views – without waiting for a written statement from the senior officers. This is exactly what we wanted and exactly what we got!

        And yes – sorry Steve – this wasn’t in your leaflet – this was in the Radio Scilly questionnaire so it wasn’t even part of your manifesto.

        I read all the leaflets that were given out and everyone was pretty much saying the same things anyway – what people wanted to hear! This was other than Steve who seemed to be more honest – and one other which basically just said “I’m a Scillonian so you should vote for me”.

        Steve still has my full support – as do councillors C. Thomas, D. Mumford and A. Martin, all of whom were happy to reply to an email I sent regarding an issue I was concerned about. So the new council seems to be functioning well as far as I can see.

  10. Kev Wright June 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Let’s say we get a subsidy to keep the Scillonian going all year round then. When will the usual winter work – which seems to be quite substantial for an old ship -be done? And as we’re all aware, the rough seas are unlikely to do an old ship much good, shortening her life potentially, and maybe even leading to more costly repairs.

    So we have the boat running in the winter – I honestly can’t see many passengers being carried on it. I bet the total for the whole of January would be less than a busy day in the summer. When the government see that they’re subsidising a service that carries five passengers a few times a week they’ll fear looking like fools and withdraw any help immediately. They’ll also be unlikely to ever throw money at helping our transport situation again.

    This is, of course, all theory. But I’m willing to bet that, should this unlikely subsidised service ever happen, this is the exact turn of events that will happen.

    If they want to give us a better, faster, smoother boat then great, take it. But as it is, it seems a no brainer to me. But then maybe I’m the total idiot that some sarcastic people seem to think….

  11. Adam Morton, St.Martins June 9, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Subsidising winter flights will not improve reliability in fog and the GRY only carries four (as far as I know)if they have track records for not chucking up so I don’t think it can be regarded as an option or a service to any great extent.

    • Nobby Nobbs June 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Preaching to the converted brother Morton

      • Kev Wright June 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm

        Improved navigational aids and a hardened runway WOULD improve winter reliability…. and reduce the cost of flights. What’s not to like about those options?

        • Kev Wright June 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm

          Plus I was told the Gry could carry 12. I’m sure it’s carried more than 4 in the past when flights have been on hold. I get seasick on larger boats such as the Gry and the Scillonian. I managed the crossing on the Gry without chucking up…

    • Saturn 3 June 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I believe the Gry can carry up to 6 passengers under the master’s discretion, this is also weather permitting. As for the unseaworthy, well I much prefer the movements of the Gry as opposed to the Scillonian, although you can be sick in comfort.

      The running costs of such a large ship throughout the winter is unjustified for potential subsidy of the service from central government. The passenger numbers simply do not warrant this gross overspend and secondly the ship needs the downtime to undergo routine maintenance.

      What should be supported is a smaller passenger ferry to operate during the winter months that is cheaper to run and can carry a good handful of passengers, whilst still retaining the Gry for freight movements. Maybe something along the lines of this http://www.workboatsinternational.com/ferry-nsf703.html

  12. Steve Sims The Last Post June 9, 2013 at 2:53 am

    I’d just like to say I wish I hadn’t started this I simply (naively) wanted to clear up what I felt were misconceptions regarding a subsidised winter boat service, and I think I’ve just muddied the waters more. And I would add, I am not privy to any information not available to anyone else.

    Anyway, I think it’s time to draw a line under this (in terms of this thread) because I don’t want it to get more personal and I think it would be better to have a chat with Marion about this in the near future. However in flagrant disregard of the previous sentence.

    FRIST believes that a better winter service is wanted by local people.

    Clearly who would disagree

    FRIST …..went wrong last winter. Why should this not happen again next winter?

    A hard runway at St. Just would mitigate against this. Also last winter was aberrant, it could happen again but probably won’t for a while.

    FRIST The short term aim is for a trial subsidised sea passenger service to improve the certainty and affordability of winter travel.

    It is already in place, though I will happily accept that in an ideal world it could be better,

    FRIST The claim that a subsidy request undermines the possibility of funding for the Land’s End hard runway is unfounded. For a start one is capital investment, the other revenue support.

    It won’t because it’s not even on the table. However I have no idea how the DfT adjudicates on these things so I may be entirely wrong, but looking at it from a rational standpoint we are more likely to get one subsidy than two (3 if the quay is included) and a one off capital injection may seem more attractive than an ongoing winter ferry subsidy, which has been rejected numerous times already.

    FRIST Perhaps a closer look should be taken at the difficulty for public sector funding to be granted to a privately owned airport without any public accountability of the service, frequency or charges

    A very valid point which should be addressed, I hope.

    FRIST Without an operating deficit subsidy it is difficult to know how a new replacement vessel will be affordable – we believe that it is unthinkable that Scilly could function without a good sea passenger service post 2018 but that must be considered a possibility unless serious steps are taken in the next two years.

    Scaremongering, is there the remotest possibility that this won’t be addressed?

    FRIST Most successful campaigners do not give up at the first hurdle or refusal.

    Absolutely go for it, but achieve the realistic goals first.

    Regarding Happy Chappy’s comment. In my initial draft I wrote. “A subsidised winter ferry would be fantastic for the islands and I support the idea in principle, but it won’t happen”. But I changed it because I was advised that it would lose votes (4 maybe in retrospect). In retrospect I shouldn’t have changed it. However you have reposted presumably under the assumption that it undermines my position, it doesn’t.

    Please don’t think I’m obsessed with a winter ferry subsidy, I’m not, this is very much an irrelevant side show. There are a number of real and pressing transport issues which can and should be addressed, to which FRIST could and should make a valuable and worthwhile contribution.

    • Rob June 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

      I suspect this is your first test Steve, don’t be bullied, you have many supporters.

  13. Kev Wright June 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    If grants are obtainable then why on earth is FRIST looking into subsidising a boat service which will get little use (and we have one already) and not looking in to getting subsidised flights? That would be the best way forward surely! They’re both run by the same company and flights make much more sense.

  14. happy chappy. June 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Name: Steve Sims
    Ward: St Mary’s

    What, if any, changes would you like to see made to transport provision for the islands? What would you do to influence this if you were elected?

    Clearly I’d like to see improvements and so would everybody else. I believe the hard surface runway at Land’s End will happen, although when is another matter. A subsidised winter ferry would be fantastic for the islands and I support the idea in principle, but remain unsure as to how achievable this is. I would also require more information before I could give an opinion on the possibility of a new helicopter service but what would I do, or more to the point what can I do? I can certainly encourage the council to work as hard as it already did at the failed route partnership to give any new proposal the best chance of going forwards and do more to encourage our Cornish counterparts to be more proactive on their side.

  15. FRIST Co-ordinator, Marian Bennett June 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    FRIST believes that a better winter service is wanted by local people and suggests that Steve Sims reads the Healthwatch and FRIST reports of what went wrong last winter. Why should this not happen again next winter? And that is before one addresses the high costs of winter air flights compared with the Scillonian even taking account of local fare concessions. Are islanders happy with this? or should FRIST abandon either or both its short term and long term objectives?
    The short term aim is for a trial subsidised sea passenger service to improve the certainty and affordability of winter travel. A correction of fact is that a subsidy relating to a public service contract can be provided by a local, regional or national authority. The claim that a subsidy request undermines the possibility of funding for the Land’s End hard runway is unfounded. For a start one is capital investment, the other revenue support. Hitherto there is no evidence that DfT/ERDF funding input into our transport infrastructure has had the slightest effect on holding down fares and charges – so no hidden subsidy there. We are sure that FRIST will be the scapegoat if funding is denied, but perhaps a closer look should be taken at the difficulty for public sector funding to be granted to a privately owned airport without any public accountability of the service, frequency or charges. And the IOS Steamship Company has stated not only their resistance to public sector funding or intervention into what is a commercial company’s operation, but also their ability to fund it themselves as they did with the new terminal.
    The long term objective remains an affordable, reliable, all year lifeline transport service comparable to that provided in the Scottish Isles and most small islands within the EU. Without an operating deficit subsidy it is difficult to know how a new replacement vessel will be affordable – we believe that it is unthinkable that Scilly could function without a good sea passenger service post 2018 but that must be considered a possibility unless serious steps are taken in the next two years.
    Most successful campaigners do not give up at the first hurdle or refusal – look at the long hard campaign to achieve off-island mains electricity in the ‘80s. Look at the ten year campaign to create a Health Centre. Steve Sims’ concern for the Minister for Transport’s time is misplaced, he is a well-paid politician, and our problems are not on his doorstep. I hope he is equally concerned for the people, both locals and visitors, who have experienced serious difficulties in travelling to and from Scilly – and that he demonstrates actions based on evidence in ensuring a future for this community and economy.

  16. pgh June 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    iron duke ? ex navy by chance ?
    if so course you’d pick a full year ferry.
    BUT ITS NOT ECONOMIC OR VIABLE to run the scillonian 12 months a year.
    i wish FRIST would stop this crusade to try and force the hand of the government and then in turn the steamship company to run the ship.
    It is having a negative impact on the promotion of the place as visitors think you cant get here, as i have had people on the mainland telling me that the travel is all fallen apart and there’s no easy way of getting here.
    We have a ship in the winter , she does a fantastic job serving the islands and she can carry a small amount of passengers if required and lets face it the only time you hear the pro ship brigade is when the planes are grounded and they’re off on holiday

    the scillonian cannot carry the freight the GRY does both in quantities and types of cargo, namely hazzardous goods, she cannot carry bulk IBC’S or gas in large quantities as she has a passenger ticket..its not like the old days before anyone asks : the ship comes under european directives and also very strict laws…so you cant run the scillonian and not the gry ..and it would be financial suicide to run both all year !!
    .
    The scillonian is only in its good state of repair because she’s laid up over the worst weather so avoids the heavy beatings trying to get over and alongside when conditions are bad, and also bear in mind she now has a weather and swell limit so there would be a much higher probability of cancellations anyway if she did sail in the winter.

    i feel FRIST should really concentrate on helping the steamship company in the hardening of the runways at lands end , rather than detracting the thoughts and ideas away to justifying the scillonian not running.

  17. Iron Duke June 8, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I think that people should be separating the economic viability of a failing island community from the perks of a hardened runway.

    The tourists are dwindling because of the expense of travel and accommodation here, because we can’t offer good facilities in-line with increasingly-wetter weather patterns that we’ve experienced in recent years, and because we got lazy and started taking tourism for granted.

    Hardening a runway will not solve these issues, flights will still cost a lot of money.

    I’d love to hear an economist’s views on this. And by ‘economist’, I don’t just mean someone who sat through some lessons in university and never put it into practice. There is a chicken and egg thing going on here and I think we’re just slapdash, do whatever comes first, whatever comes up, do it, have we got a grant for it? Good, do it.

    NO! Get a massive piece of paper out and sit down and have a good think about:
    WHERE we are
    WHY we are here
    WHAT the real issues are
    HOW we can change this for the better.

    These islands are too small, and everything is reliant on the other thing, it’s a symbiotic community, without gainful employment for residents there is no need for the size of services the Council provides, and we cannot sustain the number of mainland people coming here to get housed, and we need to make houses affordable so local people feel empowered to go away and get skilled and then return to live, and without tourism being stable then the local community cannot survive. Perhaps we need to look at getting more local people out of tourism and look at how the islands can earn money from something else that isn’t so risky,and so on and so on, everything is linked and not once have I seen anything to suggest that this has been taken into account before making these grandiose decisions on infrastructure or transport links.

    • Nobby Nobbs June 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      If we (the islanders) set up a company (so that we all shared in the profits), that covered all available land with solar panels and planted numerous wind turbines then we could make enough money selling the electricity back to the national grid that none of us would have to work.
      The islands could move from a dwindling tourist based economy to an economy based upon renewable energy.

  18. Kev Wright June 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I’m finding this all a bit hard to believe. If we could have a luxury boat running all winter and an air service too then great. But it seems we have to focus on one.

    We HAVE a boat running all winter. It brings freight and can take passengers. The Scillonian would do the crossing with less freight and virtually no passengers most trips. I’ve been on the Scillonian loads of times, I’ve also been on the Gry in winter. Worst trip ever? DEFINITELY on the Scillonian a few years ago. The Gry isn’t bad – yes it’s longer, but so would The Scillonian be in bad weather.

    A more reliable air service is vital. Naturally there will be days when nothing can cross – boats, planes or helicopters – but a daily flight would be much more preferable to most visitors. As for disabilities – well I’ve been taken over on a stretcher on Skybus and the team had no problems getting me on or off – so help is there if you need it.

    I remember there being a lot of complaints about us not getting newspapers (not the end of the world for most people – but it could be for one local business) and also mail – which is very important to some business.

    Would getting mail and papers 3 times a week (weather permitting) be preferable to a service that would bring these over daily (weather permitting) and also get people away for important medical day trips or business meetings and so on?

    I’m with Councillor Sims all the way on this one. For once common sense is being used.

    FRIST are doing hard work which we should be grateful for, but we should also be sensible and realistic.

  19. Steve Sims June 8, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I think many of the above comments just go to prove my point. FRIST have created an entirely false perception that a subsidised winter ferry service is possibility. It isn’t, neither will the government waive income tax for Islanders.

    Regarding Jacque’s comment, I’m inclined to agree but it doesn’t alter the facts, but the IoSSSc are addressing this,

    And Colin I agree that my comments were slightly aggressive and patronising, but that’s me. I didn’t have a personality transplant when I became a councilor, perhaps my slightly aggressive and patronising tone got me on in the first place.

    The winter ferry subsidy is an absolute none starter. So why waste energy on it. And whether it beggers belief or not 4 councilors told me that when away they were asked how they would get back because there is no longer a way of getting to the Scillies.

  20. Colin Bean June 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    “He feels locals would prefer the option to make the air service more reliable.”

    You don’t speak for me Steve, and I find your slightly aggressive and patronising tone on this subject a bit disappointing. I would much rather have an all-year round boat, if only for more predictability. As for the four councillors who have been told by people on the mainland that we are effectively cut off- this beggars belief! Have these people no television, radio, internet or newspapers to glean information about the islands from? They must live in a cave.

    Tell them to Google “Getting to the Isles of Scilly”!!!!!!!!

  21. Jacque June 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    My concern is for the residents of the Islands with walking difficulties that are unable to climb the steps on to a plane unaided. What happens to them during the winter?

    Can a charter plane with the stretcher be a viable option when someone who needs a frame to walk with has to attend a mainland hospital appointment? Perhaps they should only accept an appointment in the summer season so let’s hope it’s not needed urgently!

    How will residents with limited mobility be able to get home after a mainland hospital stay?
    Is it right that this part of our community is virtually cut off from the mainland for half the year?

    How does a hard runway help them if there is no provision for disabled access into a plane when a limited boat service could at least let them get back to their home, their friends and families.

    Of course both options would be great but if there has to be a choice, everyone is capable of boarding a boat but only the independently mobile, fit and able-bodied can board a plane!

    Please think about these issues as they will affect a larger section of our aging community in the future and one day this could be you!

  22. Praggett June 7, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Sorry Steve but Nobby Nobbs speaks sense yet again.

  23. Randolph June 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Never a truer word spoken there by Councillor Sims in my opinion. You have only got to look at the dwindling numbers on the boat now (June) to realise how much money would be lost in the winter if the Scillonian were to operate. Maybe this is why the ISSG are concentrating on hardening the runway at Lands End and spending money on navigational equipment, whilst leaving FRIST in their own Arcadia dreaming about how the government will bail us out in the future… Anyone who lives on the islands should know to book their trips well in advance if needing to travel anywhere, that goes for winter and summer trips. It has always been this way and comes with living in such a remote place! It must also be noted that no one seemed to care about a winter boat until the demise of the helicopter, which to was also prone to cancellations due to adverse weather conditions…

  24. Dave June 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    WE HAVE AN ALL YEAR BOAT!!!!!! Get on the gry. Job done. Hard runway is much more important for the future of these Islands as it will guarantee no more waterlogging which means tourists will be able to get here on time, happier and more keen to spend money here.

  25. Steve Sims June 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    We have a subsidised winter boat service (£10.50), 3 times a week with up to 12 passengers which is probably more than the average number the Scillonian used to carry in the winter when it ran. The DfT has repeatedly said no to a subsidised winter ferry (which we currently have) on around 10 occasions . It won’t happen. It seems that a number of people seem not to understand the word “NO”.

    The two points I’m trying to address are. Again, it won’t happen and 2nd in that context, why build people’s expectations on the basis of an impossibility, certainly in the short to medium term. People may not wish to hear this but sadly its the case.

  26. Nobby Nobbs June 7, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Agreed,
    What about fog, cross winds and rain, none of which affect the boat, but does ground the planes.

    I still don’t get why the ISSco should get a state subsidy to provide a hard runway. The ISSco is a private company and therefore should invest it’s own money, not tax payers money, which begs the question why is it alright for the ISSco the accept a state subsidy for a runway but not a boat service?.

  27. happy chappy. June 7, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Steve says if a year-round boat is forced, it removes the argument for a hard runway at Land’s End.

    Cannot see the logic in this statement.

    Both are needed and I feel they should both be actively persued.

    A poll to gauge preferences amongst us would not go amiss.

  28. Iron Duke June 7, 2013 at 10:24 am

    To be fair, i think that the Winter sailings would be more welcome. An increase in availability of food in the co-op is a bonus, and there is more reassurance in terms of forecasting when it will be able to sail, so plans can be made. Even with a hardened runway, I think that Skybus are still exposed to cross-wind issues during the Winter, and also the reduced number of daylight hours. It also doesn’t offer a cheap route to the islands for potential out-of-season tourists, whereas the boat does.

    Ideally, yeah let’s have both. But if you gave me a choice, then I’d pick the boat.