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Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has written to cross-Solent ferry operator Wightlink asking for all of its services to resume at the earliest opportunity.

In a letter to Wightlink’s Chief Executive, Keith Greenfield, Bob said he was keen to see the resumption of sailings on all regular cross-Solent routes – which includes the currently suspended Ryde to Portsmouth FastCats and the Yarmouth to Lymington car ferry service.

The Yarmouth service has not operated since 31st March and the Fastcat service stopped on 6th April. Local rumour has suggested that services will resume from 6th July, but this has not been confirmed.

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Bob said:

“I am pleased that the cross-Solent ferry operators and the IW Transport Infrastructure Board have been able to work together to secure the vital lifeline services that we needed during lockdown. I thank all the ferry operators for working with me, and others, to keep Islanders safe as the pandemic reached its peak here.

“However, as we start to move out of lockdown, we now need the ferries to resume all of their routes and services to support commuters as they return to work, but also to support the visitor economy which we so desperately need to get up and running on the Island.

“I am pleased that Red Funnel’s Red Jet sailings have resumed, albeit on a limited service, and I urge Wightlink to follow suit with their remaining services. I know Wightlink has announced additional sailings on its Fishbourne to Portsmouth route recently which is a positive step. Now I would like to see them re-opening their other services as soon as possible.”

Bob said the Prime Minister’s recent announcement – which made provision for the majority of businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector to reopen – had kick-started many Island businesses in their preparations to reopen and welcome back visitors once more.

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Bob adds:

“I am working closely with the IW Council and Visit IOW in a coordinated approach to visitors returning which will see safety measures put in place to help to protect both residents and visitors.

“The Island needs to welcome visitors back to support local livelihoods and the ferries need to play their part in that.”

Long term, Bob has said he intends to liaise with the Isle of Wight Council and Government to work towards a more acceptable model of how cross-Solent services could be provided moving forward.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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The fastcat ferry already has bookings ready for the 6 July, just pretend to book from that date. Wonder why Mr Seely thinks otherwise

Last edited 4 months ago by Shinx

Hurry up and get the Yar Lym route back online. I’ll soon have to lay off staff unless they can get to work at reasonable times.


Bob the Bandwagon jumper yet again….. Leicester was the 1st place to have a local lockdown in place, the island could well be the second, I give it two weeks, get real Seely.


I agree with you

Christopher Davis

Latest figures published say there are 36 areas where number of new cases of covid 19 are spiking Leicester being one and tonight it has been announced that Leicester schools will be closed for two weeks,the relaxation of controls due on 5 July have been postponed in the Leicester area which included opening of public houses and allowing people to travel and stay. Also among the places on this list of 36 is the Isle of Wight and yet our MP wants all ferry services restored opening the door for thousands to come to the Island and potentially overwhelm our… Read more »

Anju John

The island is blessed and safe to be secluded from the mainland in these times . It would be a very selfish economic short sighted view to resume everything to normal and invite everyone here.


That’s fine if you are retired and we’ll off !!!!!!

Kathleen Canacott

“Well off” on a widow’s pension, I think not!!!!!!


Our MP needs to visit our hospital and see how hard the staff are working and what a greater impact this will have on the hospital and all the staff who are giving it there all at this time they don’t need the added pressure

roger everyone

Well done “barbecue Bob”

Old bean

Yarmouth is such a better place without shitlink


How the heck are they going to social distance as the tables are fastened down will they have there temperature checked on boarding on the other side and will they be forced to wear masks it will be good to see if red funnel and wightlink doing any of these how can you load the passengers up to the deck on the narrow started and how will the 2mtr work on board and at the terminal

Old bean

Shitelink on they website it’s stating they are running boats from 6 July fromYarmouth this is FALSE they will send you to fishbourne surely that’s false advertising


Let’s hope they do start running from the 6th. Businesses need to start going again and workers need to get to work. Wightlinks an infrastructure company and therefore is a necessity to Islanders. As I’ve said in a previous post, if they don’t start running soon then I’m going to have to lay off a number of island living staff and replace them with local staff.

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