Wightlink has unveiled the dates and locations for its public exhibition of its proposed £45 million investment plans, which include a new ferry for the Fishbourne to Portsmouth route capable of taking 1,000 passengers, plus port improvements on both sides of the Solent.
Senior managers from Wightlink are looking forward to hearing views from customers, stakeholders and local people in both Fishbourne and Portsmouth during the first weekend in June:
This is where you can meet them:
Friday 5th June at Portsmouth Gunwharf car ferry terminal ticket office from 16:30-18:30
Saturday 6th June at Portsmouth Gunwharf car ferry terminal ticket office from 09:00-11:00
Sunday 7th June at Fishbourne terminal meeting room at 12:00-18:00
Monday 8th June at Fishbourne terminal meeting room at 08:00-10:00
Chief Operating Officer John Burrows said:
“We are delighted to share our exciting plans with our customers and neighbours.
“Our £45 million pound investment in the most environmentally friendly ferry on the Solent will transform travel to and from the Isle of Wight for Islanders and holidaymakers alike.”
Wightlink’s new flagship, designed and built specifically for the route, will have the capacity to carry the equivalent of 178 cars and more than 1,000 people on each crossing. It is planned to come into service in 2017.
The ferry will boast a host of features to minimise the ship’s impact on the Solent and its shoreline. Plans include the capacity to use both low sulphur marine gas oil (MGO) and liquid natural gas (LNG) fuels, a sophisticated power management system, recycling engine heat to warm water and indoor spaces, and a modern hull designed to create low levels of wash. Wightlink has commissioned environmental specialists to ensure the proposals meet all relevant legislation.
Also in the proposals are improvements to terminals at both Portsmouth Gunwharf and Fishbourne. They will mean better facilities for customers, and faster loading and unloading times which will reduce congestion, particularly at Portsmouth Gunwharf. New boarding ramps will allow vehicles to be loaded and unloaded on two levels simultaneously and more quietly than at present. As part of this investment, the capacity of Wightlink’s current flagship St Clare will also be increased so it can use the same ‘double deck’ loading system.