A new foot passenger ferry, providing services to and from the Isle of Wight, hopes to rival Red Funnel and Wightlink.

Hampshire-based company Fluid.taxi has plans to expand its existing on-demand water taxi, to run a foot passenger service between Lymington Town Quay and Yarmouth.

The firm, which also offers shuttle services to The Hut, in Colwell and during the Isle of Wight Festival, states that it seeks 'to transform the outdated passenger transport model currently in operation today'.

"By changing the thinking and the operating model we are launching a new fleet of Cheetah Catamarans", it said.

Read more: Red Funnel cancels a DOZEN more car ferry sailings

Initially licenced to carry 12 passengers, it said its craft can easily access a variety of destinations.

The news comes amid disruption on the Island's current cross-Solent operators.

Today alone, Red Funnel has cancelled a dozen car ferry sailings between Southampton and East Cowes.

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely recently met Fluid.taxi to hear more about its plans and said he welcomes competition to rival the 'duopoly'.

He said: “Introducing new services will not change things overnight, but it will start to offer people a choice from the services offered by Wightlink and Red Funnel.
“Over the past 20 years, Red Funnel and Wightlink services have become slower, less frequent, less reliable and more expensive. They are letting Islanders down.
“Part of the answer to a better deal could be regulation, but equally it would be encouraging new services.

Isle of Wight County Press: From left: Greg Wilson (Fluid), Bob Seely MP and Russell Lake (Fluid)From left: Greg Wilson (Fluid), Bob Seely MP and Russell Lake (Fluid) (Image: Bob Seely)
“I met with Fluid.taxi recently to hear more about their exciting plans, using battery-powered vessels made on the Isle of Wight. They will be unveiling exciting announcements in the coming weeks.
“There are several new services trying to start on different cross-Solent routes. I wish them all well. For the Cowes route, I will be contacting Associated British Ports and the Cowes Harbour Commission. They need to be supporting new services.”
A spokesperson for Fluid.taxi said: “We have been offering an on-demand water-based taxi service in the Solent area since 2009.
“Now, we are really excited to be in a position to expand our services further. Look out for announcements soon.”

With a transfer time of 25 minutes and 'competitive prices', the Lymington to Yarmouth foot passenger service is scheduled to launch in July.