Thank you to all those Islanders who write to me about their cross-Solent travel experiences.

Having specific examples to share with the ferry companies — and government ministers — always helps when trying to get the point across.

One of the things that concerns me most at the moment is the lack of evening services for foot passengers from Portsmouth to Ryde. Neither of the two companies runs a regular service after 8.30pm.

Read more: Recent cancellations on Fastcat service

A student midwife from the Island recently told me about her experience of trying to get back to the Island after a long shift at a mainland hospital. I thank her for writing to me and for allowing me to speak publicly about the problems she raises.

She told me, “On many occasions I have been left either stranded in Portsmouth or having to walk alone for 20 minutes at night in the dark just to get home after my placement.”

I understand Wightlink runs commercial services, but the failure to run late passenger ferries is bad for the Island and Islanders.

Wightlink will say that there isn’t the level of traffic that there was before the pandemic. That may be true, but it misses the point.

Train firms run late services (which may make a loss) because running a late service is part of the responsibilities of providing a public service. Not every service will be full.

I am sure that Wightlink make a loss on their earliest and latest services, but they should run them because that is their social responsibility.

Wightlink have sometimes lacked the ability to take a flexible approach to providing services, thanks to historically weak management and aggressive unions. That has begun to change over the pandemic, but Wightlink needs to do more.

Wightlink does not have a public service obligation. I wish it did, but regardless of a lack of any legal requirement to provide a late-night service, it should do the right thing and understand that it has a responsibility to run some kind of skeleton service in the evenings.

I would respectfully suggest to Wightlink that they consider a 10pm and midnight passenger services on the FastCat so that people travelling home late have some chance of getting back to the Island, and trainee midwives needing to get back to the Island can do so.