Sunday, 6 April 2014

IOS HealthWatch submission to HofC Transport Committee

The Iislands HealthWatch organization submitted evidence to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee - you can view it here . It is a model of effective communication and grim reading. It is essential reading for anybody in denial about the islands' transport crisis.

You can view all of the submissions to the House of Commons Transport Committee on their website here . Those submissions relating to the IOS can be found by scrolling down the list (dates, reference numbers and originators listed below):

24 March 2014    TIC0135 IOS  HealthWatch
24 March 2014    TIC0136   FRIST
3 March 2014      TIC 0134  FRIST
21 Oct 2013         TIC0127  IOS Council
14 Oct 2013         INQ0056 FRIST

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Public meetings to discus transport issues on Wed 16 Apr (1.30 pm)

The IOS Council has announced there will be a public meeting to discus transport issues on Wednesday April 16th at the Town Hall starting at 1.30 pm. See Scilly Today news item here .

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Council will not ask for Route Subsidy says Vice Chair of Transport

Cllr. Steve Sims, Vice Chair of the IOS Transport Committee, responded in a radio interview on Radio Scilly yesterday morning to FRIST's letter to Councillors encouraging them to explore a PSO (route subsidy) as a solution to islanders' dire transport problems.
Cllr. Steve Sims told Radio Scilly in a revealing interview that the Council that did not beleive that a subsidy was achievable or necessary.  He said the Council had been  “nowhere near proactive enough ” in getting its message across across to the public and that the Council was planning to hold a public meeting on transport on 16 April 2014 to 'thrash matters out'.

You can hear the broadcast here
Scilly Today article with 28 comments here 

FRIST letter to Councillors 20 March 2014 here

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Govt. told islanders risking health through transport problems.

From Scilly Today 27 Mar 2014. 

 Island residents are risking their health because of problems with transport to and from the islands.

That’s what Scilly’s Healthwatch has told the government in a report submitted to a Commons Select Committee investigating passenger transport in isolated areas.

Healthwatch claims that the time, cost and stress that patients bear when travelling means the current provision is “not adequate.”

 Healthwatch says they’ve received “a very high number of comments about the difficulty in arranging travel for an appointment or admission because of flight schedules.”

To read the full article click here.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Government guarantees London - Newquay air service with 4 year PSO

The Cornishman reports that transport links to Cornwall have received a boost after the Government confirmed it will provide a four-year financial guarantee towards safeguarding the Newquay to London air link. The route has been under threat since last March when Flybe announced it would terminate its service.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

FRIST makes further submissions to Transport Committee

FRIST has made a further submission to the House of Commons Transport Committee following the giving of oral evidence on 3 March (still available to watch here). You can view the new submission  here.

The earlier FRIST submissions can be viewed here (Sep 2013) and here (Feb 2014). 

The Council of the IOS made submissions to the Transport Committee (no link available).  All submissions are expected eventually to be  available on the Transport Committee website here (latest documents posted dated Aug 2013).

First Great Western confirm timetable and capacity improvements.

FGW's Managing Director confirmed a number of measures to improve route capacity and services in South West England in an email to Lord Berkeley on 14 March.

Lord Berkeley has been working Cornwall Council and the local MP both to protect and improve services. Timetable changes later in 2014 will see the 7.06 am departure from Paddington arriving 40 minutes earlier in Penzance (12.03 rather than 12.43). There will also be an increase in standard class seating and more table seats. There will also be a upgrade/refreshment programme for carriages. See the FGW announcement here.

Lord Berkeley has also pressed FGW (in conjunction with IOSSCO) to pursue FRIST's agenda of timetable improvements to better coordinate train times with the ferry timetable. Specifically he has asked for:

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Need to travel from Scilly today - try 40 miles by RIB

Just over a week after giving evidence to the House of Commons Transport Committee about Scilly's impossible transport situation in the winter FRIST Coordinator Marian Bennett finds herself having to resort to a RIB (image above from a Dec 2012 journey) to get to the mainland as the IOS Council representative at an NHS meeting.

West Cornwall is swathed in fog today, the sun is creating a bright glow but horizontal visibility is a few hundred metres. There are therefore currently no flights in or out of Scilly. Like other islanders with an urgent need to travel, Marian will be skidding over the 40 miles between Scilly and Penzance in a high powered RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). This is an expensive (£100+ each way) option and exhausting option (2 hours bouncing over the waves). It is not without some residual risk given the small size of the vessels and the distance from the coast. At least the sea is flat today or at least in Mounts Bay.