Vital transport links to the mainland for people living on the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly have been safeguarded during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to an emergency package of up to £10.5 million, granted by the government.
The funding – agreed jointly by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Her Majesty’s Treasury – will support the continuation of crucial passenger ferries to the Isle of Wight as well as sea and air links to the Isles of Scilly over the next 3 months.
More than 140,000 people live on the Isle of Wight and 2,200 on the Isles of Scilly. This fund will help ensure these communities continue to have access to vital medical services on the mainland while protecting the flow of supplies to these regions.
This is the latest step in a string of urgent measures being taken forward by the government to support vital public services, including emergency support to sustain rail, bus and freight links as operators manage the impacts of COVID-19.
It follows the temporary suspension of competition law to allow ferry operators in the Isle of Wight to work together to continue to run essential services despite reduced usage during the virus, maintaining a vital route for those who cannot work from home and those needing medical treatment.