Monday, 17 July 2017

Statement from the Chairman of IOS Council (12 July)

The Chairman of the IOS Council has issued a statement about the Council's  position reguarding the proposal to re-establish a heliport at Penzance.  The statement is as follows;

On 26 January 2017 the Council of the Isles of Scilly unanimously passed a motion of support for a planning application to re-establish a heliport at Penzance.

The Council of the Isles of Scilly's position is unchanged and the authority remains fully supportive of the planning application, irrespective of subsequent events.

Frequent weather related disruptions continue to occur, which expose the lack of resilience in the current air transport offer. Furthermore, there have been many instances when Islanders and our visitors have been unable to travel due to capacity issues, not air traffic constraints. Most importantly, those from our community with health issues frequently miss mainland health appointments.
The Council of the Isles of Scilly will be encouraging initiatives to help develop a strong, affordable and resilient passenger and freight offer for the Island community and our visitors, year round.

An increase in capacity, competition and a choice of operators is key to a vibrant growing economic environment on the Islands and in West Cornwall.

Ted Moulson
Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly

Publishing date: Wednesday, 12 July, 2017
Link to IOS website here

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

IOSSG given green light to press ahead with Judicial Review

FRIST learnt today that the Judicial Review application by the IOS Steamship Group is being allowed to proceed to a full hearing.  All applications for Judicial Review are screened by a judge to weed out cases that are deemed to have no prospect of success at all. 

FRIST’s position on the matter of the IOSSG’s request for Judicial Review is as follows:

FRIST is appalled at the obvious attempts by the Steamship Company to use the Judicial Review process to further what are obviously commercial and anti-competitive arguments. They argue for example that there are not enough passengers to sustain a helicopter service.   That has nothing to do with the planning application for a heliport at Penzance.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company is in no position to criticise a potential competitor on what are clearly delaying tactics to further their own monopoly. The Islands, the island community and their visitors deserve better! They need choice and they need some competition and alternatives in getting to and from the Islands.  FRIST believes that the planning process followed by Cornwall Council was correct and should stand rather than be challenged on spurious legal grounds that could delay the helicopter service for years.  What is good for IOSSG is not necessarily good for the Islands.

Additional Comment.

Judicial Review is an expensive and time consuming process.  If the application fails at the first hurdle then costs are usually limited to a few thousand pounds.   Once you are into a full JR hearing the costs are usually £50,000 +.  With a monopoly to protect then the commercial calculation could well be that the legal costs are entirely justifiable and the reputational damage largely irrelevant because with a monopoly on an essential service the customers have no alternative choice of transport provider.  It is however a course of action which challenges the Government’s Competition and Markets Authority to intervene to protect the public interest so it is not a course of action without risk to IOSSG shareholders.

Press reports:


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Heliport Judicial Review - The Angry Backlash.

See below for links to other news reports including the angry backlask to the IOSSG's request for Judicial Review of Cornwall Council's decision to grant planning consent for Penzance Heliport.

Pirate FM 30 May 2017- click here.

Cornwall Live 31 May 2017- click here.

Business Cornwall 1 June 2017.  click here.

Penzance expresses frustration at Heliport Legal Delays

Penzance Mayor,  Cllr Dick Cliffe, expressed in a short interview with ITV on 30 May 17 the frustration felt in Penzance over delays to the building of the new heliport.  

Click here to read ITV article and listen to the short interview.