Residents and motorists in East Cowes could see a reprieve from the chaotic traffic gridlock later, as cross-Solent operator Red Funnel plans to bring the Red Eagle back to service.
The ferry was removed from the route earlier following a technical fault, and some passengers heading between East Cowes and Southampton were warned to face delays of 12 hours as a result.
The resulting queues of passengers navigating through the already disrupted traffic network in the town contributed to the bedlam being experienced, causing businesses to close and bus services to be suspended.
A Red Funnel spokesperson said:
“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to passengers travelling with us today. Our technical teams have worked hard to make the necessary repairs, and we can confirm that Red Eagle is expected to return to service today and is scheduled for departure from Southampton at 16:00.
“Poor weather and Island roadworks have also contributed to the traffic congestion in East Cowes today and we are deeply sorry that our disruption has added to the already difficult situation. Our teams on the ground are doing everything possible to keep traffic and our service moving. We also continue to advise all customers with a booking for today to check the service status on our website and confirm their revised departure and suggested arrival time as we still expect to experience delays throughout the evening as we catch up to our timetable.
“We wish to thank all affected passengers and particularly residents in East Cowes for their patience and understanding.”
Further good news for those in the town is that Clarence Road, which was closed to facilitate the repair of a burst water main by Southern Water, is understood to be reopening.