A PUBLIC meeting has been organised as efforts to reinstate the Hayling Ferry gather pace.
The current owners of the boat, Tim Trayte and Dave Baker, will be putting forward their business plan at a meeting later this month.
The pair, who run Baker Trayte Marine Ltd, bought the ferry after the former owners went bust last March.
The ferry is currently sitting at Camber Dock, Old Portsmouth.
Havant and Hayling Island Labour Party is now getting behind the campaign and is hoping the funding kick-start could come from the community.
Michael Evans, secretary of Havant Constituency Labour party, said: ‘Quite a number of Hayling Island residents would like to explore the possibility of setting up a community interest company in order to operate the ferry service.
‘We, the Labour Party, are well placed to assist in the setting up of this type of company in conjunction with Community Empowerment Ltd, Portsmouth, a charitable society for the benefit of the community who professionally advise help, support and set up community interest companies.’
He added: ‘We extend a very warm welcome to all who wants to attend this meeting.’
The meeting takes place at midday on Saturday, January 23 at The Royal Shades pub, at 29 Seafront, Hayling Island.
Meanwhile, Portsmouth City Council and Havant Borough Council have issued a joint call of action to companies in a bid to relaunch the service.
The current Langstone Harbour Board operator’s licence fee is £19,000 a year.
The councils are encouraging potential operators to contact the harbourmaster by January 31.
People continue to support the campaign.
Paul Dopson, of Elm Close, Hayling, said: ‘I am a keen cyclist and without the ferry, Portsmouth is not really within reach by bike any more unless you have loads of time and are prepared to clog up the main road out of Hayling.’
Alan and Sally Clarke, of Hayling, told The News: ‘Please make every endeavour to get this service reinstated, people miss it terribly – especially residents of Hayling who needed it for work, schools, and colleges.’