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Steam Packet to be sold

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Posted (edited)
On 3/27/2019 at 8:05 AM, John Wright said:

 Im hoping that Treasury will sell off a substantial part of its shareholding, keeping a proportion and a golden share, to raise funds. Probably once we have accurate costings for the new boats.

£70 million minimum for boats is clearly way out. 3 years ago IoMSPCo was quoting £120-30m, Condor, itself up for sale, serving the CI with the Bens sister, Clipper, and fast craft, and Arrow on sub sub lease on standby, still owned by a cash strapped, frozen, McQuarrie, infrastructure investment vehicle, and up for sale, is saying it needs to build 2 new boats for £120m. Not that it has any chance of raising the funds.

What we mustn’t get into is the mess of Guernsey/Alderney who own Aurigny airline,  which loses money hand over fist, and can’t even manage to agree future service levels, or subsidy, for the £3million a year loss on the Guernsey Alderney and Alderney UK lifeline routes. That’s £3 million loss after all fares paid to cover essential life line services.

We May complain about flybe/Virgin Red, patient transfers, easyJet, open skies, etc, but we are in a far better position than that.

Nor must we get into the mess of Scotland and CalMac, 100% cost over runs on two new boats, 12 month minimum delivery delays, and all paid for by the taxpayer, because boats are owned by state owned CalMac Assets and an annual operating subsidy of £140 million, and projected Public Service Operational Subsidy over its next 8 year franchise, of nearly £1billion.

Given the characteristics of the business with its monopoly position as far as ro-ro traffic is concerned and the captive market, it is difficult to conceive of the SPCo ever not making a substantial profit, but I suppose with their track record of goof after incredible goof, if anyone can make a loss on the operation it would have to be our government.

Edited by woolley
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3 minutes ago, woolley said:

Given the characteristics of the business with its monopoly position as far as ro-ro traffic is concerned and the captive market, it is difficult to conceive of the SPCo ever not making a substantial profit, but I suppose with their track record of goof after incredible goof, if anyone can make a loss on the operation it would have to be our government.

But CalMac has a monopoly on most routes. But public service lobbying/vote buying, has resulted in huge losses and subsidies.

That's something we need to avoid. The call for subsidy/cheap tickets because its publicly owned. That's why selling a substantial shareholding, to raise capital, is a safeguard.

 

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11 minutes ago, woolley said:

I'd ditch Liverpool altogether. Certainly wouldn't be spending £30m on an overpriced vanity terminal there.

£31 million now. It does seem absolutely bonkers.

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3 minutes ago, John Wright said:

That's something we need to avoid. The call for subsidy/cheap tickets because its publicly owned. That's why selling a substantial shareholding, to raise capital, is a safeguard.

Unfortunately everything government does has the Public Sector Pension Liability hanging over it like The Sword of Damocles.

Add to that a VERY healthy electorate scepticism born out of years of fiscal ineptitude and constantly fuelled by incessant and completely unnecessary jollies for the boys and girls and it's easy to see why they are simply not trusted to do what's right for the island.

Personally I think none of them should be allowed off-island unless accompanied by a responsible adult....

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33 minutes ago, woolley said:

I'd ditch Liverpool altogether. Certainly wouldn't be spending £30m on an overpriced vanity terminal there.

Unfortunately Heysham has very poor public transport access.

But to invest long millions into new berthing that lacks freight access strikes me as being somewhat short-sighted.

So that's settled then....

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22 minutes ago, John Wright said:

But CalMac has a monopoly on most routes. But public service lobbying/vote buying, has resulted in huge losses and subsidies.

That's something we need to avoid. The call for subsidy/cheap tickets because its publicly owned. That's why selling a substantial shareholding, to raise capital, is a safeguard.

 

John, are you familiar with Calmac? Multiple routes on multiple vessel types to some populations that are way too small to be viable, none of them more than a fraction of the IoM. There is no resemblance at all. By comparison, SPCo is a compact mainline operation with critical mass, and to a single island destination. If you can avoid making a profit in this scenario, not only should you not be in business, you should not be allowed to play with anything more dangerous than wax crayons.

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12 minutes ago, P.K. said:

Unfortunately everything government does has the Public Sector Pension Liability hanging over it like The Sword of Damocles.

Add to that a VERY healthy electorate scepticism born out of years of fiscal ineptitude and constantly fuelled by incessant and completely unnecessary jollies for the boys and girls and it's easy to see why they are simply not trusted to do what's right for the island.

Personally I think none of them should be allowed off-island unless accompanied by a responsible adult....

Allowed off but not allowed back would probably be better.

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7 minutes ago, P.K. said:

Unfortunately Heysham has very poor public transport access.

But to invest long millions into new berthing that lacks freight access strikes me as being somewhat short-sighted.

So that's settled then....

Heysham is good for the motorway and with the shorter crossing time you can be well on your way to anywhere in the north west before you have berthed in the Mersey and fought your way through the city in Liverpool.

OK, not as convenient for Liverpool area itself, but there is nothing special about Liverpool. Maybe they could get a few seasonal slots into Birkenhead? Surely we could twist a few arms there for a lot less than £30m? Jeez, we could even make the Steam Packet put on a shuttle from Heysham to Morecambe Station for foot passengers on the daytime sailing. Fiver a head each way?

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15 minutes ago, woolley said:

John, are you familiar with Calmac? Multiple routes on multiple vessel types to some populations that are way too small to be viable, none of them more than a fraction of the IoM. There is no resemblance at all. By comparison, SPCo is a compact mainline operation with critical mass, and to a single island destination. If you can avoid making a profit in this scenario, not only should you not be in business, you should not be allowed to play with anything more dangerous than wax crayons.

Yes, I’m familiar. There are short, medium and long routes. Of course they have different vessels that are route specific. But the fact remains, all routes are substantially subsidised. Even the longer ones. Government finances builds and owns the boats in one public company CalMac Assets) and franchises the routes to a second public company on the basis of least subsidy for the operating period.

CalMac operations nearly always wins, and when it doesn’t the private competitor gets into difficulties and CalMac takes the route over. Look at NorthLink.

Also look at the mess with the latest design/build of the two new vessels, delayed by up to 2 years and the first already over budget by 100%.

There’s every resemblance to how the IoM Government provides public transport. The ratio between ticket sales and operating cost is remarkably similar.

Yes, it’s correct that population base there is nowhere with equivalent population, but passenger numbers on some routes put IoM figures to shame.

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They are in no way similar from a business point of view. Think of every advantage and disadvantage to operating island ferry routes and SPCo has 95% of the former and Calmac 95% of the latter. The one similarity I can think of now is that they both have government over a barrel, so I can see the wisdom in selling a share to keep some corporate discipline on board. I heard they'd appointed some non-exec directors. Are they of a quality likely to instill some fiscal rectitude?

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4 hours ago, woolley said:

Heysham is good for the motorway and with the shorter crossing time you can be well on your way to anywhere in the north west before you have berthed in the Mersey and fought your way through the city in Liverpool.

OK, not as convenient for Liverpool area itself, but there is nothing special about Liverpool. Maybe they could get a few seasonal slots into Birkenhead?

Heysham is good for The Motorway? Yes ideal for The Lakes & Scotland, anywhere South is adding that much time onto the ongoing journey, okay it may suit a few people but never I feel the majority. There is nothing special about Liverpool? it is a lot easier for anywhere East as well as South!

If Heysham should become the only port then forget about tourism completely and accept the small island syndrome! be a sad day is this happens.

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1 hour ago, jaybs said:

Heysham is good for The Motorway? Yes ideal for The Lakes & Scotland, anywhere South is adding that much time onto the ongoing journey, okay it may suit a few people but never I feel the majority. There is nothing special about Liverpool? it is a lot easier for anywhere East as well as South!

If Heysham should become the only port then forget about tourism completely and accept the small island syndrome! be a sad day is this happens.

Really?

It’s marginal. Getting out of Liverpool is slow. Going east from Heysham via M61/60/62 A63 to Hull takes exactly the same as Liverpool to Hull on M62/60/A63.

Leeds is the same. Newcastle is 45 minutes less via M6/A66/A1M

Cambridge or London, there might be a 10 minute advantage, via Liverpool.

Even Portsmouth, where I often go for onward ferry travel has no more than 15 minutes in it.

On a 5 hour journey 15 minutes is nothing. 

And the crossing time is 30 to 45 minutes less ( on a conventional ropax)

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6 hours ago, woolley said:

Heysham is good for the motorway and with the shorter crossing time you can be well on your way to anywhere in the north west before you have berthed in the Mersey and fought your way through the city in Liverpool.

OK, not as convenient for Liverpool area itself, but there is nothing special about Liverpool. Maybe they could get a few seasonal slots into Birkenhead? Surely we could twist a few arms there for a lot less than £30m? Jeez, we could even make the Steam Packet put on a shuttle from Heysham to Morecambe Station for foot passengers on the daytime sailing. Fiver a head each way?

Nothing special about Liverpool? Along with Newcastle it's one of the best cities in the British Isles!

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36 minutes ago, Donald Trumps said:

Nothing special about Liverpool? Along with Newcastle it's one of the best cities in the British Isles!

Major qualm about coming to the Island in years gone by was having to come through Liverpool. Pain.

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We always seemed to have a trip through a tunnel or two on our way to Pier Head

Don't know how Dad managed it really

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