Wightlink will lose a ferry from its Yarmouth to Lymington route to replace an ageing vessel on its Fishbourne to Portsmouth service.
The ferry company has today (Monday) announced it will re-locate one of its three W-class ships from its West Wight service to take over from the St Helen, which is set to be retired.
The change in fleet will take place from next summer and Wightlink said it would have minimal impact.
Passenger numbers on its Yarmouth to Lymington service have fallen by 15 percent according to the company.
Wightlink’s Chief Operating Officer John Burrows said:
“Using our fleet as efficiently as possible next year is vital if we are to continue our programme of modernisation and investment, which has seen us introduce five brand new ships within the last five years.
“To secure the future of our service, we have a responsibility to match the capacity we provide with customer demand.
“Despite considerable price discounting, adapting our timetable to provide better train connections, improved punctuality and continued high reliability, demand is falling on our Yarmouth to Lymington route, with customers preferring to use other routes.
“As a result of these changes, customers on our Fishbourne to Portsmouth route will enjoy a more modern ship.
“Yet, the impact for customers at Yarmouth to Lymington will be minimal.
“This decision has no impact on our services between October and March and, throughout the summer, we will operate up to 34 sailings a day (17 round trips), on an hourly service.
“There will be no changes to the first or last sailings of the day and we will continue to offer the late night sailings on key Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer, which we recently introduced in response to customer requests.”