More than 100 people turned out despite high winds to protest against Isle of Wight ferry firm Wightlink today (Saturday).

The demonstration took place at 10am at Western Gardens at the bottom of Union Street, Ryde.

There are near to 4,000 members of the group, including Facebook and website members. The group is led by Bronwyn Hamilton Brown and can be found on Facebook.

They would like to see:

  • Improved affordability with discounts for residents on individual crossings as well as multi-passes. Isle of Wight address ‘friends and family’ discounts.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Wightlink Users' Group demonstrating in Ryde.

  • NHS support. Free fares for patients needing treatment on the mainland. A dedicated phone line for patients with booked NHS appointments. Free car parking at ferry ports for those attending appointments. Discounts for those accompanying or visiting relatives in hospital.
  • A better timetable that connects with rail services, allows for late night return to and from the Island, gives regular passage to and from the Island, without long intervals between crossings in Yarmouth, Ryde and Fishbourne, and does not consider the car ferry a viable alternative to the FastCat.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Wightlink Users' Group demonstrating in Ryde.

At the demonstration was Vix Lowthion, of the Isle of Wight Green Party.

She said: "Islanders have had enough. The cost of ferry fares is astronomical - and this is hitting residents hard who need to travel for work, to see family or to get vital medical treatment.

 "Our ferry services are essential public services - not cash cows for international corporations.

"We demand that Wightlink provide residents with fairer fares. And that the government urgently enforce a Public Service Obligation on our ferry companies, so that we can afford to use them."