THE latest hike in ticket prices for the Gosport Ferry has been met with anger.
The price for an adult return has gone up by 20p to £3.30 and senior citizens will have to pay £2.20, 10p more.
In May last year the price went up by 20p with return tickets rising to £3.10 from £2.90. And in June 2013, the price went up by 10p from £2.80 to £2.90.
This time regular users have seen a price freeze with the 10-trip adult book remaining at £14.50, and child prices have also remained the same.
But people living in Gosport who use the ferry say the increases are encouraging more people to drive.
Faith Green, from Alverstoke, said: ‘Another price increase is not helping with the traffic issues in Gosport.
‘The ferry is only looking after its regular customers.
‘I know a new boat has just been launched but does that mean there will be even more increases in the future? With petrol still being low, people will just decide to drive when low ferry prices could stop this.’
Brian Knox, 58, agreed. He said: ‘When there are a couple of people travelling, driving makes more sense.
‘For my wife and I, paying more than £6 to get to Portsmouth is ludicrous. It’s only a short, five-minute journey and the pricing should reflect that.
June Evans added: ‘I wonder how many times they will use the Harbour Spirit as an excuse for the price hike – £3.30 is just too much.’
Harbour Spirit, a 300-passenger boat, was launched last month and cost £3.2m. It offers more comfort and space for passengers.
Leader of Gosport Borough Council Cllr Mark Hook said the increase was disappointing but the ferry had a lot of offers.
‘For people who use the ferry on a regular basis, there is the park and float option, the 10-trip book and bikes can go free for the summer,’ he said.
‘I think it is good that they offer a range of fares.’
Cllr Sean Woodward, executive member for transport at Hampshire County Council, added: ‘People have to look at the alternative to the ferry which is driving all the way to Portsmouth which would cost more.
‘Having Harbour Spirit helps justify the costs as people can see where their money is going.’
Chris Waters, Gosport Ferry’s finance director, said: ‘This year’s fare changes demonstrate our commitment to our regular customers with price freezes on various offers.
‘The small increases in our standard return fares reflect continuing investment in improved facilities, most notably the arrival of a brand new ferry on the harbour route.’