Campaigners rejoice as six-month Hayling Ferry bus trial begins

CAMPAIGNERS and dignitaries have united for the launch of a bus serving a ‘vital’ ferry link.

After months of crunch talks the Portsmouth City Coaches 149 route from Eastoke Corner to the Hayling Ferry went live yesterday. 

Hayling Ferry bus. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Hayling Ferry bus. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Set to run for the next six months as part of a trial, the service means passengers will no longer have to walk the length of Ferry Road – which has no pavements – to get to the ferry landing. 

After months of crunch talks the Portsmouth City Coaches 149 route from Eastoke Corner to the Hayling Ferry went live yesterday. 

Set to run for the next six months as part of a trial, the service means passengers will no longer have to walk the length of Ferry Road – which has no pavements – to get to the ferry landing. 

The Mayor and Mayoress of Havant, Peter and Janet Wade, were the first to board the service at 8.45am from Eastoke Corner – escorted by Hayling Island Residents’ Association (HIRA) chairwoman Anne Skennerton.

‘It was a brilliant journey,’ said Mr Wade. 

‘This bus is an excellent and much-needed idea and we need to join together and make sure it works.’ 

When the mayor arrived at Ferry Point he met the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Lee Mason, before the pair shared breakfast at the nearby Ferryboat Inn. 

The venue has played host to nine months of vital discussions on the future of the ferry – which runs between Hayling Island and Eastney – featuring campaigners, the ferry’s owners Baker Trayte Marine and councillors from Havant and Portsmouth.

Colin Hill is the ferry’s skipper.

On the launch, he said: ‘It was a relief to see the bus at the ferry. 

‘All these meetings and all that paperwork have paid off now because we can see it’s there ready to go. 

‘That’s what I have wanted for a very long time.’ 

With a completely new peak-time schedule, the 149 bus will run from Eastoke Corner every half-an-hour from 6.25am, from Monday toFriday. 

The final morning service will run at 8.55am, before picking up again at 4pm and running every 35 minutes.

Mr Hill said it was now down to Hayling Island residents to ensure footfall was high so the service could prosper. 

‘The ferry is doing everything it can. It’s now time for the people who asked for these buses to play their part and use them,’ he said. 

Mrs Skennerton added: ‘We can use it, or we can lose it. I urge anybody to get out of the car and take this bus instead.’

ayor and mayoress of Havant, Peter and Janet Wade, were the first to board the service at 8.45am from Eastoke Corner – escorted by Hayling Island Residents’ Association (HIRA) chairwoman Anne Skennerton.

‘It was a brilliant journey,' said Mr Wade. 

‘This bus in an excellent and much-needed idea and we need to join together and make sure it works.’ 

When the mayor arrived at Ferry Point he met the lord mayor of Portsmouth, Lee Mason, before the pair shared breakfast at the nearby Ferryboat Inn. 

The venue has played host to nine months of vital discussions on the future of the ferry – which runs between Hayling Island and Eastney – featuring campaigners, the ferry’s owners Baker Trayte Marine and councillors from Havant and Portsmouth.

Colin Hill is the ferry’s skipper.

On the launch, he said: ‘It was a relief to see the bus at the ferry. 

‘All these meetings and all that paperwork have paid off now because we can see it's there ready to go. 

‘That’s what I have wanted for a very long time.’ 

With a completely new peak-time schedule, the 149 bus will run from Eastoke Corner every half-an-hour from 6.25am, from Monday and Friday. 

The final morning service will run at 8.55am, before picking up again at 4pm and running every 35 minutes.

Not only shortening the commute to Portsmouth, it is also hoped the service – supported by an extension of the First 15 bus on the Eastney side – will reduce pollution on the A3023, on Hayling Island. 

Havant Borough Council's deputy leader and cabinet lead for finance and regeneration, councillor Tim Pike, said: ‘The reintroduction of this public transport network will be a huge benefit to people needing to get to and from Hayling Island and Portsmouth.

‘It is hoped that commuters will choose this route and help to reduce congestion.’ 

Mr Hill said it is now down to Hayling Island residents to ensure footfall is high so the 149 bus and the Hayling Ferry can prosper. 

‘The ferry is doing everything it can. It’s now time for the people who asked for these buses to play their part and use them,' he said. 

Mrs Skennerton added: ‘We can use it, or we can lose it. I urge anybody to get out of the car take this bus instead.'