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.

The paper goes on to explain that the existence of a Public Service Obligation (PSO) – a subsidy allocated by the Government to maintain air connectivity in the furthest reaches of the UK – on the route between Newquay and London will see the Government providing a subsidy to an operator to deliver the connection for a four-year period. Any shortfall incurred on the airline’s part in the cost of providing the service will be gap-funded by the finance.

FRIST has been an advocate of PSOs to help solve the islands transport problems ever since the Government turned down the Route Partnership Scheme which involved a major capital grant (rather than revenue support for transport services). The IOS Council's new Chief Executive, at the House of Commons Transport Committee hearing on 3 March, expressed the Council's view that a PSO or subsidy was not necessary or desired by islanders and that the issue was primarily about improving the resilience of existing services. This is a view FRIST's coordinator, Marian Bennett, has recently challenged in a letter to the islands Councillors.  The  Council's position on the matter is not based upon public consultation on this issue because there has been no consultation.

Read the full Cornishman article here  .

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