FERRY users say their view of Portsmouth Harbour has been replaced with one of a steel wall because of a design flaw in Gosport’s new pontoon.
A wedge-shaped metal panel means passengers queuing are faced with metal cladding instead of the harbour sights.
But those at the front can see out through a set of 7ft double doors, and passengers at the back can stare out the wall-to-ceiling glass windows.
Rebecca Lawley, 23, of Waterloo Road, Gosport, said: ‘It’s different and cleaner than the old one but it seems there is a bit of a design flaw.
‘The new design makes it hard to see out in places.
‘It’s a little bit ugly and there is a bit of a problem with the view from outside too because the new pontoon is higher.
‘If you’re getting dropped off at the taxi rank it can be hard to see where the ferry is.
‘I like the fact it is cleaner but I don’t know if it will stay clean.’
Beata Steciuk, 21, of Westland Drive, added: ‘I don’t like the fact you can’t see out of the new one as well as before.
‘Depending where you stand you can only see parts of the Spinnaker Tower.’
But not all ferry users think the metal wall is a problem.
Christopher Fox, 29, of Forton Road, Gosport, said: ‘I use the ferry to go and pick my son up and I like the new pontoon.
‘It’s nice and open and you can see out across the harbour.
‘I don’t really think there is anything wrong.
‘There might be some parts where you can’t see so much but there is a better view all around so that evens it out.’
The new pontoon – designed by consultants Atkins Ltd – was paid for by Gosport Borough Council.
The Gosport Ferry Company will now have to pay the council back.
Gosport Ferry general manager Keith Edwards said the design could not be altered. He added: ‘We have heard these comments.
‘It depends where you stand but we can see their concern.
‘We have been getting some very good and positive feedback from passengers.
‘People like how bright it is and how fresh and modern it is. We will try and entertain people with the screens there.
‘We have got a live feed from the train company for the live train times at Portsmouth Harbour and another screen which can show videos, websites and adverts.’
Workers are still putting the finishing touches on the new pontoon.
Construction firm Trant is now removing the piles which kept the old pontoon stable.
New ones have been installed in a different position to give the new pontoon better stability in the water.
Contractors will also install 20 seats for passengers along the inside of the pontoon and replace the ferry’s live webcam feed.