AS travel operators on the Isle of Wight react to the new coronavirus conditions, here’s what you need to know about getting to work using public transport…

Southern Vectis

Isle of Wight County Press:

Southern Vectis said: “The health and safety of our colleagues and customers is our number one priority. All non-essential travel should also be avoided, and this will affect bus services.

“We continue to run our bus services, for now, as planned. We are anticipating colleague absence, which may mean cancelling some journeys at short notice. We will do this to minimise impact on the majority of routes.Please allow extra time for your journey in case of any last-minute cancellations. 

“If you, as a customer, are displaying signs of coronavirus, we ask that you do not use public transport at this time and follow the advice issued by the NHS.”

  • From Sunday March 22: No Needles Breezer 
    • From March 23: Revised customer service teams hours - Mon to Fri, 8am-5:30pm
    • From Monday March 23: Older people can use bus passes before 9.30am, to enable them to go to the designated supermarket shopping hours
    • From April 4: The Coaster service will NOT start
    • From Monday April 6: Special timetables will be in place. More details nearer the time. 

Island Line Trains

Isle of Wight County Press:

Operator South Western Railway said: “The spread of the COVID-19 means that like at most other organisations, more of our staff are having to follow advice to stay at home unwell and self-isolate for up to 14 days. By reducing the number of trains running, we can focus on ensuring a reliable timetable for passengers who still have to travel, especially healthcare professionals, police and fire service workers.”

From Monday March 23: Reduced services 


Isle of Wight County Press:

Wightlink said there would be a reduced timetable on Wightlink’s routes from today – Monday 23 March

"The Coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on the numbers of people who want to travel to and from the Isle of Wight. Far fewer people than usual want to cross the Solent at present and the Government has advised against non-essential travel.

"This change to passenger volumes has affected all cross-Solent operators and is not sustainable as this crisis is likely to last for many weeks. Wightlink has therefore decided, following discussions with Isle of Wight Council, and in accord with other operators, to bring in a reduced timetable with fewer sailings during this emergency.

"Wightlink will be prioritising essential freight supplies to the Island including food and fuel as well as assisting the NHS and emergency services. But there will be plenty of sailings that individuals can book if needed.

"It will mean a two-hourly service on the Lymington-Yarmouth service and hourly sailings on the  Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry and FastCat passenger routes.  Please see the Wightlink website or mobile app for details of sailings.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield said: “We need to take this action and know it will affect the travel plans of some of our customers. However, bringing essential supplies to the Isle of Wight is our key priority at present, together with supporting the NHS and emergency services.”

“This new timetable will also allow greater resilience to cope with increased levels of staff absence due to self-isolations”.

Wightlink now allows customers to stay in their vehicles, following detailed discussions and agreement with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The Portsmouth to Fishbourne car ferry, St Clare, is now reserved for people who wish to do this. St Clare sails on the even hour from Portsmouth (06:00, 08:00 etc) and the odd hour from Fishbourne (07:00, 09:00 etc). All other services (both Portsmouth to Fishbourne and Lymington to Yarmouth) will operate in the usual way with all customers leaving their vehicles after embarkation and spending the crossing in passenger lounges. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Red Funnel said: “Red Funnel continues to monitor the evolving situation in relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and appreciate there is a growing uncertainty for our customers surrounding their travel plans.”

  • Some stay-in-your-car crossings offered


Services are running to timetable with the exception of 08:00 ex Ryde, 08:15 ex Southsea & 17:00 ex Ryde, 17:15 ex Southsea, which will not operate through to the end of the month.


Isle of Wight County Press:

Floating Bridge

The Isle of Wight Council says this will run as normal, however it is no longer accepting cash payment.