Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route improves punctuality

wightlink's investments improve car loading times

Statistics recorded from August 2017 — the busiest month of the year for Wightlink Ferries — show that terminal improvements have made a significant difference to punctuality on the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route.

The numbers of sailings arriving on time this August on Wightlink’s busiest service increased by more than a third, compared to August 2016 levels. This is because staff can load and unload its flagship St Clare more quickly using new double deck boarding ramps.

Cars and small vans embark and disembark on the upper deck while lorries, coaches and other large vehicles use the lower deck. The new system has reduced the turnaround time to around 15 minutes.

Keith Greenfield, Wightlink Chief Executive, said: “We thank our customers and neighbours for their patience during our construction work at both Portsmouth and Fishbourne. The temporary disruption to our services has been worth it because punctuality has improved.

“We are delighted that the majority of our sailings are now running on time, even on some of the busiest days during the holiday season, and will welcome our new ship Victoria of Wight in summer 2018.”

Dave Stewart, Isle of Wight CounciI Leader, said: “I have followed with interest the progress of Wightlink's £45million investment in the Portsmouth route since it gained planning permission last year. I am pleased the new two-tier boarding ramps at Fishbourne and Portsmouth are now working well and helping to make the service more efficient. We look forward to the new ship arriving next year.

“The investment by Wightlink is an important part of our ambition to regenerate the Island's economy as we move forward.”

More improvements to the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route lie ahead. Plans have been unveiled for a new terminal entrance at Fishbourne to reduce queuing, and Wightlink’s new customer building in Portsmouth is nearing completion — also helping to quash congestion on the Portsmouth side of Wightlink's operations.