GOSPORT MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed news that servicemen and women travelling from Gosport to Portsmouth can claim back on ferry prices.
Current policy means that armed forces personnel commuting to Portsmouth from Gosport can claim expenses for travel they make by road, but not by water.
Ms Dinenage said this encourages servicemen and women to travel by car along the town’s congested routes.
She campaigned for a change in the rules for three years and it was announced today that the Ministry of Defence has agreed to it.
This means that service personnel from Gosport, travelling to Portsmouth, can now claim expenses on ferry travel.
The change would also apply to the Hayling Ferry.
Ms Dinenage said: ‘After many years of letter writing, parliamentary questions and ministerial visits, I am delighted that the MoD has decided to overturn its existing policy and actively encourage service personnel to commute between Gosport and Portsmouth on the Gosport Ferry.
‘This is a more sustainable option.
‘I would like to thank the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, who visited Gosport last year when he recognised the potential that the Gosport Ferry has to alleviate local road congestion and backed my campaign for the reinstatement of this important entitlement.’
The entitlement will be reinstated with effect from May 1 this year.
The managing director of Gosport Ferry, John Foster, added: ‘I am delighted to hear that the MoD has agreed to reverse its policy and will allow its staff to claim expenses for commuting on the Gosport Ferry once more.
‘Not only will the MoD’s decision help our small business, it will also make an important contribution to keeping MoD spending under control.
‘Caroline’s help was critical to securing this change which will benefit all commuters in Gosport.’