Mainland Travel Hub Is ‘Vital’ Says Economic Report

skybus twin ottersA new mainland transport hub in Exeter, Southampton or Bristol is “vital” to make transport to the islands easier.

And a modest increase to the runway at St Mary’s could also be needed.

That’s one of the key findings of the Council’s economic consultants, Ash Futures.

In their report, they say better onward connections for people travelling from outside the South West should be explored.

And they say the Steamship Company should start negotiations with larger airlines like Flybe, who operate out of Exeter, to ensure their schedules coincide.

Ash Futures also say that Sunday flying should start soon, to increase passenger choice.

Skybus said recently that it’s not currently possible because the Council don’t have enough air traffic controllers at St Mary’s to open seven days a week.

And in the longer-term, Skybus should consider offering newer aircraft, like the Dornier 228NG, which they say has a higher capacity and is more comfortable, even if that means a “small increase” to the length of the runway at St Mary’s is needed.

The report says that having subsidies repeatedly turned down by the government should not stop the Council exploring government funding for flights over winter or to a new hub airport.

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