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Steam Packet cancellations addressed

The backlog of Steam Packet cancellations towards the end of last year was discussed in today\'s sitting of Tynwald.

Economic Minister John Shimmin confirmed that 44 sailings were cancelled in the final 12 weeks of 2011.

Of these, 31 were due to the weather and 13 because of the issues surrounding the Ben-my-Chree’s bow thruster.

He said it was too early to measure the full economic impact of these cancellations, but added he believed the Steam Packet did its best in what was the windiest December since the Second World War.

However, Minister Shimmin did say that, aside from the disruption to visitors and business travelers, the DED understands that some businesses are still financially affected as services return to more usual delivery standards.

He highlighted that raw materials were delayed and held at dockside while food deliveries were given the priority. While this is good for the Island’s need to feed itself, he said, it wasn't good in terms of our ability to be competitive as a high value manufacturing centre.

The minister also stated that the majority of retailers in the Island were negatively affected by the cancelled sailings by losing sales and increasing costs.

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