A new player could be joining the Isle of Wight ferry market.

An Island-based consortium is believed to be working up a plan to run a 'community' vehicle ferry service and has asked the Isle of Wight Council for its support.

The County Press believes a number of prominent Island business people are directors of a company set up to run the service, but at time of going to press, calls were not being returned.

Portsmouth International Ferry Terminal is believed to be the preferred mainland landing point although it is not known where ships would leave the Island from.

However, Island MP Bob Seely said he had spoken to those involved.

He said the introduction of a third vehicle route would hopefully improve services and drive down prices.

Mr Seely said he was working with those involved to access government funding and private investment.

The latest Isle of Wight Council Forward Plan contains an item for the Cabinet meeting next month, asking for the authority's backing in principle.

It says: "Request for Isle of Wight Council support in principle for the proposed development of a new community ferry service.

"To consider provision of a letter of support to an Island-based consortium seeking to develop a new ferry service to the Island

"The consortium will be consulting the public and key agencies about the principle of the proposal and should a planning application come forward consultation through the planning process."

Mr Seely told the County Press: ”We all know the problems. At the moment they’re too expensive and there’s no public service obligation.

“One of the potential answers to getting a better service and frankly better value for Islanders is to have a new entrant into the market with fixed or capped fares and a low-cost model that isn’t loaded with corporate debt.

"A good chunk of the ferry fare Islanders pay goes on debt, and/or overmanning.

"I have met potential operators and I have given them encouragement.

"I believe the Island needs a low-cost operator option.

"I will support them and work with them to try to get government funding and investment so they can set up a rival to the current firms, potentially bringing down the cost of getting to and from the Island."