Stephen Morgan MP has today written to the Transport Secretary urging immediate government measures to support Gosport Ferry. The action follows reports that the business runs the risk of ruin due to the financial implications of Covid-19.
Mr Morgan has called on government to address the fact that their transport funding package, announced earlier this week, does not offer any tangible support to Gosport Ferry, which has lost 90% of its normal passenger volumes.
This is just the latest of the city MP’s actions, as he has already submitted a string of parliamentary written questions and raised the issue with the local authority following discussions with the ferry company’s senior management.
Stephen Morgan MP said: “Gosport Ferry is vital to not just Portsmouth, but the region. Some rely on it for business and commuting, others for their employment or leisure.
Government has a responsibility to ensure it continues to serve our community. The £17 million package, announced earlier this week, offers no guidance as to what this will mean for businesses like Gosport Ferry.
I am minded to support government in this time of crisis where suitable, but it is unclear what, if anything, they have done to help this service to date. I will continue to lobby the relevant Ministers to make announcements to help this vital regional transport infrastructure.”
Gosport Ferry has been connecting Portsmouth and Gosport since 1875, it carries over 3 million passengers each year and is a vital link for commuters, businesses and leisure travel. Covid-19 social distancing measures have heavily affected their revenue which has left the future of the company hanging in the balance.
Mr Morgan added: “What have they done to support this service so far? What steps are they taking to ensure the continuation of the service post Covid-19? Can they guarantee the security of the business?
These are the questions that Government’s funding package failed to answer so far which is why I have today put them to the Transport Secretary. Uncertainty at this time could cost jobs and livelihoods for Portsmouth people. I will continue to push for government support for all transport infrastructure struggling under the strain of Covid-19.”
The Portsmouth South MP is committed to working with the city council and neighbouring Members of Parliament which protects this vital transport link for Portsmouth and Gosport and will be taking further action next week following concerns raised by constituents.