Tough times blamed for Wightlink service changes

Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-229) PPP-140824-032155001

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FERRIES services between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight will switch to their winter timetable nearly two months earlier than usual.

Wightlink services will be on the reduced timetable from September 17. The change normally comes into effect on November 5.

Main changes to the sailing schedule include an hourly timetable being operated between Portsmouth and Ryde at weekends, and a three-boat service between Portsmouth and Fishbourne on the mornings of Tuesdays to Thursdays.

A statement on Wightlink’s website claims the decision is due to significant fuel increases throughout the year as well as a reduction in business caused by the unpredictable weather and the economic downturn.

It continues: ‘We have had no option but to reduce our on-going costs wherever possible and by bringing the winter timetables forward to the middle of September, we can continue to operate a viable operation whilst crucially controlling our operating costs.

‘We are aware that the change to our sailing times may not suit all of our passengers; unfortunately these changes are essential to ensure the future of the routes whilst minimising the impact for the majority of our passengers.’

‘Wightlink would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.’