Many Islanders have contacted OnTheWight this week to express their outrage at being hit by considerable ferry price increases, now Wightlink have applied their new pricing plan.
When making the announcement, Wightlink labelled the changes as a “fairer and simpler pricing structure”.
Below are some examples from people who have been in touch.
£60 increased to £164 in a week
This morning Tony Wright, who runs a theatrical costume rental service based in Shanklin employing ten staff, phoned OnTheWight, “Last week I booked my van on the Portsmouth route for £60. I did the same yesterday at 4pm and saw the price had jumped to £164.80. That’s close to a 200% increase.”
Tony went onto describe that the Islander booking discount that used to be applied to his van booking has now been removed and Wightlink have decreased the size of vehicles to 5 metres. His van is 5.1m, which they now class as ‘Freight’.
“The increase is outrageous,” he said, “It will kill Island-based businesses that trade with the Mainland.”
During his busy seasons, he travels to the Mainland three times a week, so he says his costs will go up £300 a week. “We won’t be able to afford it. It will have a huge impact on the Island. I don’t think people realise.”
Yarmouth route increases
National award-winning garden designer, Tim Brayford, left a comment about a dramatic price increase, so we called him to find out more.
Tim said he travelled on the Yarmouth route to the Mainland last year in his 5.2m 4×4 vehicle that Wightlink rate as a passenger vehicle. That was at 8:50am on a Sunday in February, which he paid £41 return for.
He researched the same journey on the new system and was quoted £71.60.
“I spent £800 with Wightlink last year,” Tim told OntheWight, “At those increases, it’d cost me £1,400-1,500. I’ll be looking at other options.”
Motor-home hit too
Sharon West contacted OnTheWight through our Facebook page about her Island-based Motor-home. The before and after pricing rose from £69.30 to £151.60.
“How fair is that?” she commented before pointing to Wightlink’s press release
“Wightlink has invested in a new booking system that will improve the reliability of reservations and ticketing for all customers. It will enable us to develop a new simpler and fairer pricing structure.”
Awaiting Wightlink’s response
We’ve contacted Wightlink to see if these examples are representative of the price changes they expected, but at the time of publishing, we hadn’t heard back from them. We’ll update you when we do.
UPDATE 14:44 – Wightlink have sent us this statement and the press contact we emailed has now left the company, hence us not receiving replies. We’re await answers to specific questions.