By Connor Steel
GOSPORT FERRY LTD have warned regular customers of potential disruption to their journeys from April 20 (Thursday) due to engineering work on the Portsmouth side; announcing they will be introducing a temporary but major change to their current fifteen minute timetable for approximately six weeks until its full completion.
This work started on Easter Monday and is being carried out by Kerry Marine Engineering LTD in conjunction with Excel Preparations & Coatings Specialist Ltd. Barriers have since been erected on the ‘Portsea’ platoon to allow work to be undertaken on the fenders, aimed at protecting vessels and berthing structures over time.
Ferry officials say that this work is vital for ‘public health and safety’ when using services; the fenders helping to reduce high energy collisions when docking in Gosport and Portsmouth. This is crucial when travelling via ferry in severe weather conditions such as strong wind and rain which have battered the area over this week.
But in order to undertake this work safely and effectively, customers are asked to be aware of disruption until the end of May at the earliest. This is said to be minor leading up to Wednesday evening (April 19), when the last ferry will leave the Portsmouth side at 10pm and terminate at Gosport until the next morning (Thursday).
From Thursday (April 20); the Gosport Ferry won’t be following the current fifteen minute timetables, running what they call a “shuttle service”. In essence this will see ferries visit both sides at regular intervals to pick up and drop off customers in the normal way but no exact or consistent timings are set for arrival and departure.
This “shuttle service” is still due to run between the hours of 5:30am to midnight each day and will ensure all ferries still remain operational as a crucial form of public transport. But customers have been warned that the lack of any timetable could disrupt their normal routines or plans, with three bank holidays scheduled in May.
Customers are encouraged to consider adding extra time to journey schedules from Thursday; particularly if they are reliant on connecting services such as Wightlink Ferries, buses or trains. They are further asked to remain patient and avoid overcrowding whether possible, particularly entering / leaving on the Portsea side.
Staff will be available at both sides for customers wanting to ask questions with supports remaining available for vulnerable people. Alternatively readers can contact Gosport Ferry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 02392 524 551 where a member of their team will be able to assist queries as soon as possible.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (DB1MCY): Portsmouth side of ferry is currently undergoing vital engineering work; a planned project that may lead to disruptions for all customers from next Thursday (April 20) until late in May.