Isle of Wight MP asks ferry company to resume all cross-Solent services – but booking are already being taken

Seely has written to Wightlink’s Chief Executive, keen to see the resumption of sailings on all cross-Solent routes – which includes the FastCat and the Yarmouth ferry service

Keith Greenfield CEO Wightlink Ferries

Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, has written to cross-Solent ferry operator, Wightlink, asking for all of its services to resume at the earliest opportunity.

In a letter to Wightlink’s Chief Executive, Keith Greenfield (pictured), Bob said he was keen to see the resumption of sailings on all regular cross-Solent routes – which included the currently suspended Ryde to Portsmouth FastCats and the Yarmouth to Lymington car ferry service.

Seely: We now need the ferries to resume all of their routes
Bob said:

“I am pleased that the cross-Solent ferry operators and the IW Transport Infrastructure Board have been able to work together to secure the vital lifeline services that we needed during lockdown. I thank all the ferry operators for working with me, and others, to keep Islanders safe as the pandemic reached its peak here.

“However, as we start to move out of lockdown, we now need the ferries to resume all of their routes and services to support commuters as they return to work, but also to support the visitor economy which we so desperately need to get up and running on the Island.

“I am pleased that Red Funnel’s Red Jet sailings have resumed, albeit on a limited service, and I urge Wightlink to follow suit with their remaining services. I know Wightlink has announced additional sailings on its Fishbourne to Portsmouth route recently which is a positive step. Now I would like to see them re-opening their other services as soon as possible.”

Seely: The Island needs to welcome visitors back
Bob said the Prime Minister’s recent announcement – which made provision for the majority of businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector to reopen – had kick-started many Island businesses in their preparations to reopen and welcome back visitors once more.

“I am working closely with the IW Council and Visit IOW in a coordinated approach to visitors returning which will see safety measures put in place to help to protect both residents and visitors.

“The Island needs to welcome visitors back to support local livelihoods and the ferries need to play their part in that.”

Bob said he intended to liaise with the IW Council and Government to work towards a more acceptable model of how cross-Solent services could be provided in the long-term.

As has been pointed out by readers here, on social media and via email, Wightlink are already taking bookings on the Yarmouth route (from 6th July) and FastCat (from 1st August). Ed

Article edit
8.20am 30th June – Headline added to and editor’s note added

News shared by the office of Bob Seely, in their own words. Ed

Monday, 29th June, 2020 6:30pm



Filed under: Ferry, Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Travel

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7 Comments on "Isle of Wight MP asks ferry company to resume all cross-Solent services – but booking are already being taken"

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No comment on Mr Seely’s no doubt self-interest. Is there any thought given to those of us without cars – is there going in the interim to be a shuttle bus service provided by the ferry company or SV to get us from Fishbourne terminal to either Ryde or Newport bus station for onward journeys?

To quote from the Wightlink booking engine on their website “Sailings are currently available to book from Portsmouth/Fishbourne up to 2 January 2022. Sailings from Lymington/Yarmouth are available to book from 6 July 2020 up to 2 January 2022 and Portsmouth Harbour/Ryde Pier Head are available to book from 1 August 2020 up to 2 January 2022 .” So looks like Lymington is starting again in a… Read more »
Not only is this suggestion of Bob’s utterly irresponsible at this early stage, it is also quite worrying because of the implicit hold the UK Government holds over the situation. Bob Seely is seeking to exert influence over a private business to alter their service. This is being done when the same government is simultaneously subsidising that company through various indirect and possibly direct loans and subsidies.… Read more »

Bob does not have the power to pull the funding. It’s done. He does have the power to go to a BBQ in lock down though.


Thank goodness for Seely’s intervention here. Without it it would never have occurred to Mr. Greenfield that it would be a good idea to get his ferries operating again. How lucky we are to have such a genius as our MP.

What does Seldom Seen Sausage Seely do most? Write letters. Remember “the lifeline services” that the ferry companies provided during lockdown were paid for by way of a £10.5m tax payer funded gift alon side fares received by anyone travelling to/from the Island. The ferry companies are private businesses with shareholders to satisfy. Watch the prices creep up, the tourist passenger numbers go down. Bob Sausage will… Read more »

Sorry – I had an e-mail from Wightlink yesterday in response to a complaint about lack of information. They assure me there are no “confirmed” dates for the recommencement of either the Fastcat or the Yarmouth – Lymington car ferry.