Ferry goes for repairs

n HAYLING ISLAND: Commuters have been left stuck this week as the Hayling Island ferry is temporarily out of service.

The ferry is having two new engines fitted since Monday at a cost of 30,000, and will undergo sea trials on today, before its planned re-entry into service at 7.30am on Saturday.

The crossing first began in 1850, and the current Pride of Hayling ferry has been in continuous service since 1987. Its engines have given 28,000 hours of service – which at a rate of 10 knots is equivalent to sailing more than 10 times around the world.

The refit is being paid for jointly by Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council, at a cost of 13,800 from the city council, and 16,200 from the county council.

Both councils already subsidise the unprofitable winter operation of the ferry at a cost of around 20,000 per year, and they jointly pay another 16,000 in pontoon fees on top of that.