Wightlink has announced dates and locations for its public exhibition of its £45million investment plans including a new ship for the Fishbourne to Portsmouth route and port improvements on both sides of the Solent.
Senior managers will be available to hear views from customers, stakeholders and local people in both Fishbourne and Portsmouth during the first weekend in June:
- Friday 5th June, Portsmouth Gunwharf car ferry terminal ticket office, 16:30-18:30
- Saturday 6th June, Portsmouth Gunwharf car ferry terminal ticket office 09:00-11:00
- Sunday 7th June, Fishbourne terminal meeting room 12:00-18:00
- Monday 8th June, Fishbourne terminal meeting room 08:00-10:00
Chief Operating Officer John Burrows said:
“We are delighted to share our exciting plans with our customers and neighbours.
“Our £45million pound investment in the most environmentally friendly ferry on the Solent will transform travel to and from the Isle of Wight for Islanders and holidaymakers alike.”
Wightlink’s new flagship, designed and built specifically for the route, will have the capacity to carry the equivalent of 178 cars and more than 1,000 people on each crossing. It is planned to come into service in 2017.
The ship will boast a host of features to minimise the ship’s impact on the Solent and its shoreline. Plans include the capacity to use both low sulphur marine gas oil (MGO) and liquid natural gas (LNG) fuels, a sophisticated power management system, recycling engine heat to warm water and indoor spaces, and a modern hull designed to create low levels of wash. Wightlink has commissioned environmental specialists to ensure the proposals meet all relevant legislation.
Also in the proposals are improvements to terminals at both Portsmouth Gunwharf and Fishbourne. They will mean better facilities for customers, and faster loading and unloading times which will reduce congestion, particularly at Portsmouth Gunwharf. New boarding ramps will allow vehicles to be loaded and unloaded on two levels simultaneously and more quietly than at present. As part of this investment, the capacity of Wightlink’s current flagship St Clare will also be increased so it can use the same ‘double deck’ loading system.
For details of Wightlink’s Investing For The Future (IFTF) proposals, see www.wightlink.co.uk/IFTF.