Red Funnel’s hi-speed passenger service between West Cowes and Southampton is now running to an expanded timetable, alongside the reinstatement of the Quayconnect bus service after almost a year.

The return to through-day coverage, offering customers 12 Hi-Speed departures from each side of the Solent between Monday to Friday and 11 departures on weekends, was well received by local passengers on Monday, many of whom were travelling from the Isle of Wight to Southampton for day trips.

In addition, the Bluestar operated Quayconnect bus service has resumed taking passengers into the heart of Southampton from the Red Jet terminal at Town Quay free of additional charge to all Red Funnel passengers. Quayconnect’s return to service follows a suspension of nearly 12 months due to the onset of the pandemic.

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Popular reasons for Islanders to venture into Southampton on Monday included shopping trips in line with the reopening of non-essential retail, with popular destinations including Westquay Shopping Centre, Primark and IKEA. Another common reason for travel included hospital appointments, with the midday availability of the Red Jet improving convenience.

Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, has commented:

“It’s fantastic to be able to return our Red Jet service back to a more frequent schedule in line with the easing of government restrictions and we’re delighted the Quayconnect is back up and running to provide that additional service for passengers.

“We continue to closely monitor customer demand for our services and will ensure we’re taking the right actions at the right time when it comes to further expansion of our timetables in the weeks and months to come. As has been the case since the onset of the pandemic, all decisions we take will be carefully risk-assessed and aligned with the latest government guidance. The safety of our customers and colleagues has, and will continue to be, our top priority.”

The current Red Jet timetable is:

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