A new timetable comes into effect on Island Line services from today (Sunday) - but, despite promises, there is no sign of a two train an hour service being restored.

South Western Railway has confirmed it will run one train every 40 minutes until the autumn, as opposed to the current service of one train every hour.

Previously, Island Line had been operating two trains per hour but this was halved when the line's five Class 484 trains were called in for maintenance works.

At the time, it was promised that the two train service would being fully restored by the summer.

Read more: Isle of Wight rail service cutting service for train maintenance

Mark Dunn, SWR's Island Line general manager, said: "We have listened carefully to feedback from our customers and stakeholders and, while we still aim to deliver a two train per hour timetable, we want to do all we can to make our services as reliable as possible, especially for the holiday seasons."

After the £26 million upgrade of the line in 2021, the possibility of a 20 minute service was also touted, but has so far not happened.

In recent months, Island Line has been blighted with disruption.

Staff shortages and strikes are among the reasons for the many cancellations.

Mr Dunn added: “We recognise the Island Line’s overall performance has not been at the levels our customers expect, and we are working hard to make improvements that will provide a reliable service our customers can have confidence in.” 

He said he hopes the changes will improve reliability by giving trains more flexibility at either end of the Island Line, to help maintain connections with ferries and the hovercraft across the Solent. 

Services will call at Smallbrook Junction on days when the Isle of Wight Steam Railway will operate.

Mr Dunn said: “We know just how important it is for our train services to connect with ferry services departing from the Island and arriving from the mainland, which is why we have made these temporary timetable changes for the summer that will see three trains running every two hours between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin. ”