Councillors and Bob Seely are right to pursue a solution to get late evening Fastcat services running both ways between Ryde and Portsmouth (CP: 04-11-22).

Especially as considerable investment has been made in the Island Line (£26million); with upcoming improvements to Ryde Pier Head and Esplanade stations, Ryde Pier itself, and the Ryde bus interchange.

Ryde is a crucial public transport hub for pedestrian traffic in and out of the IW, with mainland connections at Portsmouth Harbour to national train and bus networks.

Whichever way you look at this, it is absurd that FastCat services do not run after 8.20pm, seven days a week.

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Trains to and from Portsmouth Harbour from national destinations do not stop at 8.20pm; including connections to and from London, Gatwick airport and Heathrow.

What surprises me is that Wightlink has the authority to make unilateral decisions about the provision of ferry services across The Solent.

Is there not a binding contract with Wightlink for “minimum service requirements?"

If not, Wightlink must be one of the only providers of public transport in the UK that is not signed up in that way.

When will this glaring omission of legal status be corrected, with "minimum service requirements" spelt out for both Wightlink and Red Funnel?

Until that is done, residents on the Island will remain at the mercy of the ferry companies. The boot must be on the other foot.

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