BRING back the ferry. That’s the rallying cry as people from across the Portsmouth area are supporting a campaign to re-instate the Hayling Ferry.
A Save The Hayling Ferry campaign, backed by The News, has been launched with the intention of getting a viable, sustainable service back in action.
The privately-owned service went bust in March.
Community leaders believe what is now needed is a strong business plan in order to attract investment, which could come from private sources, the public purse and the community.
Josephine Palmer, from Southsea, told The News: ‘I don’t have a car and it now takes me an hour and a half to get to Hayling Island from Southsea, with a journey by three buses.
‘It seems extraordinary that going back to the 1960s there were three routes on and off Hayling – the bridge, of course, ferry and Hayling Billy. With much increased traffic we now have only one – and I dread to think of the scenario if there were a major incident on the bridge.’
Ray Dopson, of Sinah Lane, Hayling, said: ‘My wife and I used to use it frequently to cross to Portsmouth with our bikes and as did many others. The closure has resulted in increased traffic on the already over-burdened roads on and off the island.’
Funding was pulled by Portsmouth City Council, and Hampshire County Council says it will only be willing to subsidise a service if a viable business case comes forward.
Neil Porter, of Parkstone Avenue, Southsea, said: ‘It’s a must the ferry comes back. I don’t understand why there can’t be some subsidies from Portsmouth City Council?’
Martin Babbidge, from Purbrook, said: ‘I am a regular walker and one of my favourite walks was to park up at Eastney and walk round the harbour and get the ferry across to my car.
‘This I am now unable to do and feel it is a shame.’