GOSPORT ferry users face a steep rise of up to 25 per cent in ticket costs.
Commuters will pay more for the short hop across 560 yards of water after the installation of a new pontoon.
The leader of Gosport Borough Council has called the increase disgraceful.
An adult return fare will rise from £2.40 to £2.70 and there will also be an increase in the cost of a 10-trip ticket from £10 to £12.50.
The council loaned the £5m for the new pontoon to the ferry company.
It will be paid back over a number of years.
Council leader Councillor Mark Hook said: ‘They did exactly the same when they brought in new ferries.
‘It’s interesting that every time they do that, once they have paid for it, they don’t put the prices back down again.
‘They are using the new pontoon as an excuse to put prices up.
‘It will deter people from using the ferries and people will look at alternative ways but they know to some degree it’s a captive audience.
‘Perversely it may help in Gosport because rather than go over to Portsmouth people might shop locally.’
There is a smaller increase in the cost of senior citizen’s and children’s fares from £1.60 to £1.80 with 10-trip tickets for £7.50.
A notice has gone up at the pontoon warning of the rise.
Gosport Ferry general manager Keith Edwards said: ‘The cost of the pontoon has been kept to a minimum, but the underlying capital and financing costs, even when spread over many years, have seen a very significant increase in our annual operating expenses.
‘The new ticket prices reflect these increases, in addition to fuel price rises and general inflation during the year.
‘Despite the increased fares, Gosport Ferry still continues to offer good value for money and with the new pontoon successfully installed we will do our utmost to maintain the high level of safety, reliability and service which our customers have come to expect.’