Isle of Wight ferries co-operate to maintain critical lifelines

Following the announcement that Wightlink is suspending the Fast Cat from Ryde Pier until further notice, Hovertravel is introducing ticket acceptance for all customers,  preserving a fast ferry option between Ryde and Portsmouth.

With the backing of its allied transport operators through the Isle of Wight Transport Infrastructure Board, Wightlink announced earlier today that their Fast Cat service from Ryde Pier to Portsmouth will be suspended from the last sailing on Monday 6 April 2020.

Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, said: “All the ferries are dedicated to keep key workers and vital supplies flowing to the Island. By co-operating we are, together, maintaining robust and resilient links which can sustain the Island through these challenging times.

“We appreciate and sympathise with the difficult decisions Wightlink is making, and we are offering our full support to a fellow ferry operator and our close neighbour in Ryde.”

Essential travellers, including key workers, who have pre-booked with Wightlink (including season card holders) will be able to use Hovertravel services, with no additional fare payable and will also be able to use the HoverBus for onward connections within Portsmouth. In addition, if required due to adverse weather conditions, Hovertravel tickets will be accepted at Wightlink’s Portsmouth‐Fishbourne car ferry.

Neil adds: “Ticket acceptance between operators is commonplace amongst rail companies and by deploying such measures here for cross Solent travel, we are demonstrating that all ferry operators are united in their mission to ensure the Isle of Wight remains connected.”