PASSENGERS have hit back at ferry bosses who have hiked fares for the third time in two years in a bid to pay for a new boat.
From Sunday a Gosport Ferry adult return ticket increases to £3.10, while a senior citizen ticket goes up to £2.10.
The 20p increase has sparked anger from some hard-pressed commuters at the ferry pontoon using the link between Gosport and Portsmouth Harbour.
Mark Foot, 35, of Parham Road, uses the ferry twice or three times a week.
He said: ‘It’s a bit pricy. It’s getting a bit silly. You can understand why people drive round. Everything’s going up apart from wages.’
Bobbie Folan, 64, of Cunningham Drive, Bridgemary, Gosport, added: ‘I don’t use the ferry very often but that is a big increase.
‘I thought they were going to stay the same. I go on the ferry maybe once or twice a week.
‘It’s a lot. The bus fares are not cheap. It’s £4.65 to get down here and plus that on top – it’s ridiculous.’
But Barbara Drury, 68, of South Street, disagreed. She said: ‘I’m not bothered. I think it’s quite a good service. I don’t mind, it’s not much.’
And Jackie Mcleish, 50, of Woodstock Road, added: ‘It’s quite a lot of money for a short journey but then I don’t drive.
‘To get across it’s a really quick and easy. I don’t begrudge the money.’
Signs have been put up saying the above-inflation rise will also see adult 10-trip tickets increase by £1 to £14.50, with senior citizen and child passes increasing to £8.30.
The cost of taking a bike on board will go up 10p to £1.20 and taking a motorbike on will rise by 10p to £1.50.
But the firm said the hike will pay for a new £3.3m 300 passenger boat and to improve and extend the canopy on the Portsea pontoon. It comes as Portsmouth City Council hopes to overhaul the rest of the Hard Interchange.
Chris Waters is the finance director at operator Gosport Ferry.
She said: ‘It’s just not possible to fund all the improvements without some impact. We are mindful of keeping the quality of service.
‘Passenger numbers are still variable. This weather has been particularly hard on us. It was very hard to plan with three months of bad weather.’
The new boat will have more sheltered seats than the current fleet, better access to toilets and more space for bikes, wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Fares were increased by 10p in 2012 and by another 10p last year.