(1 April 2020) Wightlink regrets it will suspend its Portsmouth Harbour-Ryde Pier Head FastCat foot passenger route from the last sailing on Monday 6 April 2020 until normal services can be restored, because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Wightlink will also be reducing its Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry sailings to a two-hourly service on one of its largest ships from 06:00 on Tuesday 7 April 2020.
These changes are being made because very few people need to cross the Solent at this time. They also further minimise the dangers of COVID-19 spreading to Wightlink staff and into the community.
Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield says: “We are sorry to suspend our FastCat route and reduce sailings between Portsmouth and Fishbourne, however we will still be able to transport all essential travellers and supplies to the Isle of Wight using one of our largest ships.”
Under the leadership of Isle of Wight Council during the COVID-19 crisis, all cross-Solent operators are working together to keep the Island connected. Wightlink’s foot passenger tickets will be accepted on Red Funnel and Hovertravel. This includes rail tickets and season tickets.
Christopher Garnett, chairman of the Isle of Wight Transport Infrastructure Board, adds: “These measures have the full support of the Board and will ensure essential, effective and robust cross-Solent ferry services can continue at this very difficult time. The Board and operators are working closely together to ensure full resilience for the Island is maintained in all key areas.
“These are lifeline services for the Island, bringing in all our supplies and freight – including food and fuel – and providing key connectivity in areas such as mainland travel for hospital appointments, whether on foot or by ambulance.
“Each of the operators continues to put in enormous efforts to maintain these services in these unprecedented times, including the promotion of ‘essential travel only’.”