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redfunnelCross-Solent ferry company Red Funnel have seen a large increase in the amount of cars, coaches, freight and passengers using their services, prompting additional sailings to be made available from the end of March.

During 2014 the company saw a 9.7% increase in the amount of cars using their Southampton to East Cowes route, whilst last year also saw a 10.8% increase in the amount of coaches using Red Funnel and a 9.6% increase in freight. Passengers using the car ferry service rose by 7.8%, whilst hi-speed passengers using the Red Jet increased by 3.7%.

The bumper results come following a year of anger from Islanders towards competitor Wightlink, who have suffered a series of mechanical breakdowns and bad publicity, including the collapse of a car deck back in July. The increase in passengers is said to have been helped by a 0.7% growth in the market.

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Kevin George, CEO commented:

“We are delighted that more customers than ever are choosing Red Funnel and I would like to thank everybody who travelled with us in 2014. Our strategy of offering competitive fares, investing in our ships and terminals and training our staff to deliver superb levels of service is changing the perceptions of Red Funnel. This is making us the first choice for an increasing number of Islanders.

“Looking ahead, this year promises to continue the momentum with Red Osprey returning to service at Easter following her £2.2m refurbishment which mirrors Red Falcon, the finalisation of plans for our new terminals in East Cowes and Southampton and there is even more exciting news on the horizon”.

As a result of the increase in freight customers, Red Funnel have announced that from 27th March they will run a 02:40 sailing on weekdays from Southampton and a 04:05 weekday sailing from East Cowes.

Meanwhile, an additional new sailing will be introduced on Friday evenings with a 20:10 sailing departing Southampton and a sailing at 21:40 from East Cowes.

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Red Funnel have also announced the slight adjustment to a number of sailings of between 5 and 15 minutes.

The following sailings from East Cowes will change:

[alert-note]– 01:20 will depart 5 minutes earlier 01:15
– 05:30 will depart 15 minutes later at 05:45
– 08:30 will depart 5 minutes later at 08:35
– 19:30 will depart 5 minutes earlier at 19:25
– 22:30 will depart 15 minutes earlier at 22:15
– 23:55 will depart 10 minutes earlier at 23:45[/alert-note]

The following timetable changes will take effect from Southampton:

[alert-note]– 04:05 will depart 10 minutes later at 04:15
– 07:00 will depart 15 minutes later at 07:15
– 21:00 will depart 15 minutes earlier at 20:45
– 22:30 will depart 15 minutes earlier at 22:15
– 23:55 will depart 10 minutes earlier at 23:45[/alert-note]

Full details of the new timetable can be found on the website at and printed versions will be available from Red Funnel ticket offices towards the end of January.

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