Published on Friday, 28th August 2015

 

Over recent years the Hayling Island ferry has been a real strange hybrid of private enterprise and the public sector. While the ferry has nominally been a commercial operation it has in practice become dependent on grants from Hampshire County Council that had a combined value of perhaps £70,000 a year. There has been no funding from Portsmouth City Council since 2013 when that the subsidy that it used to provide was terminated.

 

The failure of the business that in March was not made a total surprise as there have been signs of stress for some time. What was expected has been that the business has been liquidated rather than reformed. Press reports indicate that both the vessels used on the route have been sold to a shipping services company.Assuming that to be correct then there will be little prospect of any new operation been launched.

 

In parallel the County Council has recently announced that it will not offer further financial support. This means that any new operator would not only have to not only have to cover routine running costs but would also have to reimburse Langstone Harbour Board for the maintenance of the pontoons.The pontoon on the Hayling side is reaching the end of its economic life and the estimated replacement cost is in the in the order of £250,000 making this a serious impediment to running a service.

 

 

In this straightened times Portsmouth City Council cannot get take on new costs and so it really cannot get involved. The main customer group for the route for much of the year was children using the public schools and they have now made alternative arrangements. In the summer months there had been a high level leisure use particularly by cyclists and it is a shame that looks like it will now be lost.

 

Tags: Transport, Hayling Ferry