AMAZING – that’s the only word to apply to the Sandbanks Ferry service over the last 12 months. Taking into account past failures it looks like it will only be on service for half the last 12 months.

While profit or loss is only the business of the operator and should be no outsider’s concern, the difference here is that a vital public service is being provided by what appears to be a monopoly to the impartial observer. Discounting the tourist customers for a moment, this lack of service jeopardises the livelihood of so many in the Purbecks in so many ways and for those travelling locally to work. The impact is so great that there is even the necessity to reconfigure the Purbeck road network.

If any commercial shipping, i.e. a ferry, entered Poole port with a broken drive shaft, a component would be immediately sourced and, if necessary, manufactured, as a one-off if necessary, to get it back into operation again. When did any commercial craft, including ferries, ever languish for three months awaiting crucial parts to return it to service?

While Echo front page coverage is heightening attention, it would be very beneficial for a keen newshound to research the obligations and commitments of that operator on what is a vital service with no alternative competition.

DAVID ADAMS, Lilliput, Poole