Wightlink adds sailings as freight demand increases

A small number of additional early morning sailings have been reintroduced by Wightlink to meet an increased demand in freight traffic.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has worked with the relevant authorities and other cross-Solent operators to deliver a lifeline service – ensuring supplies can reach the Isle of Wight and to allow key workers to travel.

However, recent easing of Government restrictions has seen an increase in freight traffic and, in response, Wightlink introduced three additional morning round-trips on their Portsmouth to Fishbourne route, starting on Monday 1st June.

These are the weekday sailings at 6am, 8am and 10am from Portsmouth Gunwharf and 7am, 9am and 11am sailings from Fishbourne. It remains the case that drivers and passengers are required to remain in their vehicles on all sailings.

Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield said: “While the volume of traffic is a small fraction of what we would expect at this time of the year, we are seeing a small increase in freight movement as the economy continues to be opened up.

“Hopefully, this increased freight demand reflects a small but significant step towards a return to normality. In the meantime, we continue to keep community safety at the heart of our operation as we plan for future travel in line with Government advice.

“We continue to work with Isle of Wight Council, IW MP Bob Seely and the Isle of Wight Transport Infrastructure Group to ensure the sailings we provide reflect the latest advice as well as the Island’s supply and travel needs.”