Wed. Nov 25th, 2020

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Red Funnel optimises Red Jet sailings for key workers

2 min read

Red Funnel Ferries has today announced it will be making further changes to its Red Jet service, as it works to ensure it continues to offer a lifeline service, particularly for key workers travelling to and from the Isle of Wight.

Red Funnel has been working closely with local NHS services to optimise a hi-speed sailing schedule that coordinates with NHS workers’ shift patterns as much as possible. Following these talks and taking into account greatly reduced customer demand, the new schedule will feature four early morning and five evening sailings. The schedule will operate as follows.

From Southampton:

Morning: 05:45, 06:45, 07:45 08:45

Evening: 16:45, 17:45, 18:45, 19:45, 20:45

From West Cowes:

Morning: 06:15, 07:15, 08:15, 09:15

Evening: 17:15, 18:15, 19:15, 20:15, 21:15

The new schedule will come into effect on Saturday, April 4.

The service reduction comes as customer demand for Red Funnel’s Red Jet service decreases as a result of Covid-19 with the public heeding the government’s guidance on non-essential travel. The revised timetable mirrors recent customer travel patterns and foot passenger numbers, while ensuring there are hi-speed sailings available that align with the majority of key worker shifts.

Foot passengers will continue to be able to travel on Red Funnel’s vehicle ferry service, which will continue to operate to its advertised schedule throughout the day.

Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, said: “We have seen a significant decline in foot passengers using our Red Jet service in recent weeks due to the government’s guidance regarding non-essential travel. Whilst we are pleased the public is taking this advice seriously and only travelling if absolutely necessary, it subsequently means we are seeing very reduced passenger numbers on all sailings, particularly on our off-peak services where we have sailings operating with very few or even no customers at all.

“Given the current government guidance and very low passengers numbers, the revised timetable is more appropriate and the crossing times will still enable the majority of those still travelling with us to continue to use the Red Jet service, especially NHS and key workers. We are also continuing to operate our vehicle ferry services that foot passengers can use.”

Keep up to date with the latest developments as to how Red Funnel is responding to Covid-19 here: www.redfunnel.co.uk/COVID-19