Latest OnTheWight questions on Wightlink’s new Pier charges bring surprising answers

OnTheWight’s been finding out further information from Wightlink about the car pier waiting times cut, including how waiting taxis will be affected and what happens if the FastCat is delayed – with surprising answers.

taxi on pier

Last week OnTheWight was able to seek answers to some of our readers’ questions about the new waiting times on Ryde Pier due to be introduced from Tuesday 26 June 2018.

The new rules slash the waiting time from one hour to 20 minutes. wh

Are taxi drivers excluded from new rules?
Isle of Wight taxi drivers, who often pick up passing trade at the pier head – passengers wanting to take a taxi rather than walk to the taxi rank on the dry end of the pier – have expressed concerns to OnTheWight about the new waiting time rules.

One taxi driver told us,

“Potential customers, unless pre-booked, will be left with very little choice but to use the railway or walk down the pier, this is not always practical for less able bodied people.”

Wightlink: “Ryde Pier is not a taxi rank”
We agreed to ask some questions on behalf of the taxi drivers and Wightlink provided the following responses.

Q: Will taxi drivers be exempt from the 20 minute waiting rule?

A spokesperson for Wightlink replied,

“The 20 minute waiting time will apply to all vehicles (not motorbikes or bicycles).

“Ryde Pier is not a taxi rank. Taxi drivers make their way up the pier from the rank at the Esplanade to pick up booked customers.”

What happens when FastCat delayed?
Q: What happens if a driver enters the pier to pick someone up and the boat is late – making them run over the 20 mins?

Wightlink responded,

“Wightlink’s FastCats are reliable and run on time. In May 2018, 99.2% of the timetabled services operated on schedule (reliability) and 97.4% departed on time (punctuality).

“Customers can sign up for latest updates on sailings via email and text message, Wightlink’s website and the Wightlink App show the service status of all vessels so drivers can find out if there are any delays to services before they set out to the pier.

“The ANPR camera will be at the ‘wet end’ of the pier so the time taken to drive up the pier isn’t included in the 20 minute waiting time.

Minimum parking ticket
Q: Will a minimum of one hour parking via a ticket be available?

A spokesperson for Wightlink replied,

“If drivers want to stay on the pier beyond 20 minutes, it costs £1.70 to park for up to two hours.”

They also added,

“We will review how the new system is operating and adjust it if required.”

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018 6:58pm



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

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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10 Comments on "Latest OnTheWight questions on Wightlink’s new Pier charges bring surprising answers"

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Email updates?
Ok, next question. Why would anyone want to park at the pierhead for two hours? That it barely time to get a fastcat there and back with little time inbetween. So the only people paying that would be someone overstaying the 20 minutes. Next question. Are Wightlink trying to deter drivers collecting and dropping off passengers at the Pier Head? From what has been announced, that is… Read more »
Have Wightlink done any sums? If taxi’s refused to serve the pier in my loose calculation they would lose approx £10,000 in revenue from the £1 toll. I base this on how many taxi’s drop off passengers or pick up per hour over a 365 day period.My statistics before anyone asks is through experience not data.I think this should be at least a basis for some leeway,… Read more »
IOW guy

In another article I read, it said Wightlink spent £5million maintaining and restoring the pier. Moneys gotta come from somewhere.

So 97.4% of services depart on time, well done Wightlink. Now, can we also have the percentage of services that arrive and are tied up on time at the pier head? After all, that is the relevant factor here. And by “on time” i don’t mean using the railway method of up to 5 minutes late being “on time”. As a regular user of the service it… Read more »
IOW guy

Good point. Looking at red funnel and the hofer craft, it seems they all use departure times to measure punctuality. And the parking timer only starts when you’re at the end of the pier.


I forsee big queues and jams forming at the town end of the pier….resulting in total chaos.


Not really surprising since Wightlink are continuing with their arrogant self serving approach to customers . As a quid pro quo , they should be asked to contribute to the funding of necessary improvements to the rail link up the pier.

Stuart George

What do you mean by “improvements to the rail link up the pier”?

IOW guy

In another article, it explained how Wightlink spent £5mil on maintaining and improving the pier…


So to collect a traveler from a delayed ferry (Cat) could cost Three whole pounds not even the price of a single pint of beer and I suspect there will not be very many having to pay this amount of parking fee.