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Could The Isle of Wight Get A New Cross Solent Ferry Service?

The Isle of Wight could soon have a new ferry connection, as part of the development of a new Island Port in Ryde.

The new ferry initiative, spearheaded by an Isle of Wight managed company, Wight Gateway Limited (WGL), promises to enhance transportation between Ryde and Portsmouth with an environmentally conscious approach, featuring all-electric ferries, built locally on the Island, and powered by a dedicated Island solar farm.

The development of a new Island port in Ryde on land owned by WGL coupled with the construction of the ferries on the Island, is expected to create substantial community and economic benefits. The company has agreed the terms on which a ferry berth will be provided by Portsmouth International port (PIP), which is owned by Portsmouth City Council.

A new ferry operator will run the all-electric vehicle ferry and passenger service. The ships will be designed to carry passengers, cars, and small vans but there will be no provisions for lorries or large coaches on this specific route.

Furthermore, the innovative ownership model of the Ryde Port aims to involve local investors in this venture, reflecting a community-centric vision and enabling local shareholders to invest in the new company.

Speaking about the announcement today Cllr Phil Jordan said:

“I am incredibly supportive of this fantastic new initiative which is bringing forward vital connectivity options for Islanders and visitors alike. This is a much-needed project that will help us as an Island community to reinvigorate businesses, tourism, connectivity, NHS and much more.

"Travel options to the mainland are a vital service that Islanders want, need, and deserve. A recently commissioned independent passenger survey on cross Solent ferry usage confirmed that there would be strong customer support for the introduction of the proposed new ferry services. I therefore welcome and support this additional cross Solent travel opportunity”.

WGL will be working with IWC, the Island local MPs and central government to obtain National Significant Infrastructure Project designation and to secure a fast-track planning permission for the new Ryde terminal.

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