Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the (a) economic contribution and (b) historic significance of the Hythe ferry service and associated (i) pier and (ii) light railway; what additional assistance is available to that ferry operating company from (A) the provisions of the 2021 Budget and (B) other public purse sources; and if he will make a statement. 
[Due for Answer on 8 March.]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Aviation and Maritime (Robert Courts): The Department does not have a recent assessment of the economic contribution and historic significance of the Hythe ferry service or associated pier and light rail to the surrounding areas. However, we recognise the important role the Hythe ferry provides to the local area and residents. We recognise the difficulties companies continue to face as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the unprecedented £330 billion worth of financial guarantees announced last March, the Chancellor has launched a new package of support measures to protect businesses and jobs beyond the spring as part of the 2021 Budget. Amongst them is the Government’s flagship Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will now be extended until September. My Department’s officials and I continue to engage closely with all parts of the maritime sector to support them as best we can during this challenging period.