Portsmouth Harbour works

Investing in the future of our FastCat service

Our Portsmouth Harbour port has now been open since June after extensive work to reconstruct the entire building. Find out more below about the works, why they were required and challenges we faced during the project.

Why the works were required

Routine inspections had revealed problems with the structural beams of the 19th century building.

We discovered that the two main beams holding up the floor were at the end of their serviceable life, and it was going to be more cost-effective to replace the beams than repair them.

Once this replacement work got underway in December 2021, contractors found that more work was required and therefore the original scope of work had grown.

Changes to the scope of the work

At first, the roof and walls were supported by props but surveyors found they too were in poor condition and the better option would be to remove them and construct a new terminal building.

A decision was made to remove the roof and reconstruct the supporting columns. In doing this we renewed this whole section of pier and were able to refurbish the interior.

We faced a choice. We could close the FastCat route during this major redevelopment or come up with a new way for customers to access the berth. We decided to keep it open, build a new waiting area on railway station premises and guide passengers to board the catamarans using an alternative outdoor route. Unfortunately, this involved 20 stairs.

Customers with heavy luggage, prams or mobility scooters temporarily used our vehicle ferry service instead and extra staff were engaged to help customers who had difficulties with the stairs.

The future of the route

The major development was completed in June 2022 in time for the busy summer holiday period. We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this unavoidable closure of our Harbour port building.

The new port is spacious and bright with improved toilet facilities. It also has modern insulation and heating and will be warmer in winter.

This £1.5million investment in our FastCat service between Portsmouth Harbour and Ryde Pier Head shows our commitment to the route and our foot passengers.