Over 50 residents gathered at the Eastney Caravan Site in Portsmouth to hear key stakeholders talk about the prospects for restoring the Hayling Island ferry service.
Directors of Baker Trayte Ltd, the owners of Pride of Hayling, presented their business plan, and Tom Berry from Portsmouth Community Empowerment spoke about potential EU funding options to support the social and environmental benefits of restoring the ferry service. Sue Castillon, Labour council candidate in Portsmouth, chaired the meeting.
Since the ferry service has been suspended, travel from Hayling to Portsmouth now involves bus and train journeys costing around £11.00. The car journey in either direction can take 45 minutes or more depending on the level of congestion, while the ferry journey takes 5 – 10 minutes.
Baker Trayte Ltd. are currently negotiating with the Harbour Board to get the best deal for residents, and those at the meeting felt that the restoration of bus services on either side of the ferry route, as well as shelters for passengers, were critical for success.
It was agreed to start a petition to Hampshire County Council about the reinstatement of the Hayling Island ferry service, and continuation of the subsidy previously provided to support the service.