Hovertravel cancel services after ‘several operational issues’

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The Rampant at the ramparts of Portchester Castle in 1967. L to r: Peter Richardson (aka Ritchie Peters  they turned his name around) vocals, Ron Hughes guitar, Ken Hughes (his brother) drums, Don Golding bass, Mick Cooper Hammond organ.

NOSTALGIA: Still Rampant after all these years – the band that just keep giving...

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HOVERCRAFT crossings on the Solent are being cut back due to ongoing technical issues with two new Hovertravel vehicles.

A one-craft service between Southsea and Ryde will operate on the Freedom 90 until the end of February.

This comes after passengers using the services over the last few months have been subjected to a number of delays, leading the company’s managing director Neil Chapman to apologise.

He has written an open letter to customers on the Hovertravel website, stating that the fixing of the technical issues are taking longer than planned.

He said: ‘I have over the last few months sent several apologies as to the current situation and continued delays experienced, and I wanted to take this opportunity to advise of the plans and actions we are undertaking to resolve the issues we are faced with.

‘The implementation of the two-new craft has had several operational issues, and while these are resolvable it’s taking considerably longer than we had planned.

In addition, we are managing the continued use of the existing craft.’

The Solent Flyer and Island Flyer were launched over the summer last year, and upgrades will take place over the coming weeks at Ryde and Woolston.

The Island Express is currently laid up in Woolston, but the company’s board of directors have confirmed investment in the craft, to ensure it’s serviceable in the near future. This will take several weeks while parts are purchased.

From now until Tuesday, February 28, the winter timetable will run with the following cancellations:

Mon–Fri Ex Ryde 0730, 0800, 0830, 1600, 1630, 1700, 1730

Mon–Fri Ex Southsea 0745, 0815, 0845, 1615, 1645, 1715, 1745

Any passenger booked on any of the above services are asked to book on an alternative crossing or be on a priority standby.

Any passengers not affected by the cancelled services are asked to be mindful and use their booked time.

If you are booked on a cancelled service as listed above, and are unable or do not wish to transfer to an alternative service. Hovertravel will refund all Wightlink costs from Ryde Pier on production of your receipts.

Visit hovertravel.co.uk/service-status.php for more details.