THERE are high hopes the new owner of the Hayling ferries will use the vessels for a service in Langstone Harbour.
The service has been suspended since the family which owned it for 30 years, the Edwards’, went bankrupt earlier this year.
I would love the ferry to be brought backPaul Duffield
Passenger ferries Tina Marie and the Pride of Hayling were put up for auction and are believed to have been bought by a consortium who want to reinstate it.
Paul Duffield, the owner of Nauti, which charters boats and provides off-shore support, confirmed that he is one of the bidders hoping to take over the ferry service.
But he would not comment on whether he bought the ferries in the auction earlier this month.
He added: ‘I have a lot of interest in boating in the area.
‘I would love for it (the ferry service) to be brought back and to see it managed properly, a reliable service for the community.
‘I would like it to be resilient so that, if something goes wrong, there is an alternative.’
Under the previous owners the ferry service was plagued by problems.
It was regularly out of action due to technical problems and last year the firm was fined for carrying too many passengers.
Philip Davies, from the administrators Hickman-Shearer, said: ‘We had a reasonable amount of interest from a range of buyers from across the country.
‘But it was a confidential transaction so it would be down to the buyer to give more details.’
Hayling councillor Andy Lenaghan said if rumours turn out to be true that the buyer wishes to reinstate the ferry he would be delighted.
He added: ‘I don’t know any of the details at the moment but obviously it would be brilliant if it was up and running again.
‘People really miss it.
‘I would be delighted to see it running again.’
Former owner Frida Edwards said she was sad that her family no longer owned the ferry and added: ‘Life goes on. You have to move on.’