CORONAVIRUS LATEST: ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. Reduced timetable with fewer sailings

CORONAVIRUS LATEST: ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. Reduced timetable with fewer sailings

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Wightlink Ferries has signed a contract to build a new ship for its Portsmouth – Fishbourne route. The new ferry will be the most environmentally friendly ever to serve the Isle of Wight. It will cost over €30 million and enter service in 2018.

This investment is part of a £45million project to improve the route. It also includes new boarding ramps at both Portsmouth Gunwharf and Fishbourne to permit double deck loading, an extension to the company’s current flagship St Clare and a new terminal building at Portsmouth. This follows the £70million spent over the last 15 years on new ferries for the Yarmouth – Lymington and Ryde Pier Head – Portsmouth Harbour routes.

The new ship, yet to be named, will be slightly larger than Wightlink’s flagship St Clare. It will use hybrid battery technology, as well as conventional fuel, to reduce emissions and make the vessel quieter. The new ferry will have two fixed vehicle decks to hold the equivalent of 178 cars and space for more than 1,000 people on board with luxurious and comfortable seats and cafés. The experienced Cemre shipyard in Turkey has won the contract to carry out the work.

“This major investment in our services will allow us to carry more cars, lorries and other vehicles to and from the Isle of Wight and help us improve reliability and punctuality, especially at the busiest times of the year,” says Interim Chief Executive John Burrows. “Hybrid battery technology will reduce our carbon footprint and help us to operate more efficiently and quietly.”

This news follows the granting of planning permission by the local authorities in both Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Planning committee councillors voted unanimously to approve the proposals.

John-Burrows-and-Donna-Jones

Portsmouth City Council leader, Councillor Donna Jones adds: “The commitment by Wightlink to invest in its Portsmouth site is great news. The city’s connection with the Isle of Wight and this opportunity for the Island’s businesses to keep growing, is essential. Getting people on and off regular, up-to-date ferries providing a first class service is essential for communities on both sides of the Solent.”

The start of work on Wightlink’s development followed a year of preparations which included extensive consultation with stakeholders, customers and neighbours in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. All opinions, comments and suggestions were taken into account by the project team.

Wightlink Ferries has signed a contract to build a new ship for its Fishbourne – Portsmouth route. The new ferry will be the most environmentally friendly ever to cross the Solent. It will cost over €30 million and enter service in 2018.

This investment is part of a £45million project to improve the route. It also includes new boarding ramps at both Fishbourne and Portsmouth Gunwharf to permit double deck loading, an extension to its current flagship St Clare and a new terminal building at Portsmouth. This investment follows the £70million spent over the last 15 years on new ferries for the Yarmouth – Lymington and Ryde Pier Head – Portsmouth Harbour routes.

The new ship, yet to be named, will be slightly larger than Wightlink’s ferry St Clare. It will use hybrid battery technology, as well as conventional fuel, to reduce emissions and make the vessel quieter. The new ferry will have two fixed vehicle decks to hold the equivalent of 178 cars and space for more than 1,000 people on board with luxurious and comfortable seats and cafés. The experienced Cemre shipyard in Turkey has won the contract to carry out the work.

“This major investment in our services will allow us to carry more cars, lorries and other vehicles to and from the Isle of Wight and help us improve reliability and punctuality, especially at the busiest times of the year,” says Interim Chief Executive John Burrows. “Hybrid battery technology will reduce our carbon footprint and help us to operate more efficiently and quietly.”

This news follows the granting of planning permission by both Isle of Wight and Portsmouth local authorities for the project. Planning committee councillors voted unanimously to approve the proposals.

New-ship---John-Burrows-and-Alexander-Dabell

Alexander Dabell, Managing Director of Vectis Ventures, which owns Blackgang Chine and Robin Hill Country Park, adds: “This is a significant and much welcomed investment in the Island and boost to our local economy. It is important for our tourism industry that such investments are made and I’m pleased that the launch of the new ferry in 2018 will coincide with the 175th anniversary of Blackgang Chine and our plans for a multi-million pound development of high quality holiday accommodation at Robin Hill.”

The start of work on Wightlink’s development followed a year of planning which included extensive consultation with stakeholders, customers and neighbours at both Fishbourne and Portsmouth Gunwharf. All opinions, comments and suggestions were taken into account by the project team.


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