Eric Corkish in front of the Tower of Refuge
Eric Corkish in front of the Tower of Refuge Credit: Paul Moulton / Isle of Man TV

In recent years, prominent Manx disabled-rights campaigner, Eric Corkish, has led a very public campaign for mobility scooters to be permitted on Isle of Man buses.

This has led to extensive news coverage from many different Manx media outlets here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. This extensive media coverage includes discussion of the various policy issues in favour and against allowing mobility scooters on public buses. As the extensive media coverage shows, there is obviously public interest in this issue.

However, according to a new interview published by Isle of Man TV, Mr Corkish has now been gagged by the Department of Infrastructure and is now, allegedly, legally prevented from further criticising Bus Vannin:

“If true, this is a very concerning usage of a confidentiality agreement,” said Michael Josem of the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance. “There are, of course, legitimate reasons for confidentiality agreements. But preventing criticism of a Government-owned bus service? This seems to be extraordinary overreach by a Government department which should be dedicated to open transparency – especially on an issue of obvious public interest.”

Consequently, the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance have submitted a Freedom of Information request to obtain a copy both the confidentiality agreement, and the procedures and policies of the Department of Infrastructure on such issues: