Wightlink have earlier today announced they will be suspending the FastCat service from the end of this week and reducing the Yarmouth ferry route to a weekday-only two-hourly service.
Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Dave Stewart, talked about the possibility of government intervention maybe being necessary.
“The council, as part of the Island’s Transport Infrastructure Board, has been engaging with ferry operators to ensure services are retained as far as possible, but decisions on services do rest with these individual private companies.
“Nevertheless, we continue to work with the MP and the Department for Transport to impress on them that it may be necessary to arrange government intervention.
“I hope that when lockdown comes to an end in December, all ferry companies will review their arrangements, ensure they are stepped up again for Christmas and have plans in place for the new year that ensures our Island is fully open for business when the time is right.”
Cllr Stewart, said,
“Pressures of lockdown are having a significant impact on our ferry companies, caused by reduced footfall, and they are clearly reviewing their service provision in a similar way to many other businesses.
“However, we as a council will continue to lobby for services to be maintained to their fullest and the Island has connectivity with the mainland in a way that provides a vital lifeline for goods, services and keyworkers.”
Stewart: Disappointed but understand
Stewart went on to say,
“I am disappointed that, once again, we are in a position where the Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier Head FastCat foot passenger route is to be suspended from 14th November, although I understand this is a business decision by Wightlink and is due to the substantial reduction in use that has happened due to lockdown.
“However, I am grateful Wightlink are maintaining a limited Yarmouth to Lymington service and in particular the change they have made to the early morning sailing which will support our students who attend Brockenhurst College.”
Thanks to Hovertravel
Cllr Stewart thanked Hovertravel for accepting Wightlink tickets, saying
“I do welcome the announcement by Hovertravel that it is reintroducing ticket acceptance for Wightlink customers and adding extra weekday services, including additional flights during peak commuter periods to ensure people can travel to work, to school, to college or university and for medical appointments.
“I wish to thank Hovertravel for the support they are providing.”