Following several months of disruption Red Funnel’s linkspan at Southampton has finally been fixed.
A crew of 12 worked through the night on Saturday into the early hours of Sunday morning to rectify a problem which has caused significant delays for customers using the East Cowes-Southampton route over the past few months.
The linkspan allows vehicles to be loaded onto the upper deck of Red Funnel’s vehicle ferries. Normally, both the upper deck and lower deck are loaded at the same time to keep to a strict timetable. However, since before Christmas the 2 decks have had to be loaded independently, resulting in delays during busy periods.
Over 90 hours have now passed since the repair work was carried out and with everything running as it should, Red Funnel have hailed the fix a success. In fact, the cross-Solent operator says the linkspan works better now than it has ever done.
A major issue that has extended the repair process has been the availability of parts but Red Funnel say they now have a made-in-the-UK solution in place should emergency parts be required in the future.
A spokesperson for Red Funnel has said:
“We just want to say another massive and humble thank you to our fantastic passengers for being so patient with us over the past few months.
“Our on-board and terminal teams did their very best to get you on and off the Island as quickly as they could, but in many instances, delays were unavoidable and caused you frustration. We are truly sorry for this.
“Thank you to everyone who continued to choose us over the past few months and for having faith that we would eventually get it right. We also want to be blunt and say that we could have done a better job of communicating with you. We should have been more vocal and transparent about the issue from the start and we should have kept you better informed along the way. We can, and we will do better as we go forward, and if you’ll let us, we hope we can earn your trust along the way”.