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Author Topic: Fully booked (ferry) does not mean floods of visitors - IoW  (Read 391 times)
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« on: May 24, 2020, 08:07:04 am »

From On the Wight

A well written explanation which - although this is a ferry - could be applied to buses and trains too.

Earlier today (Friday) members of a Facebook Group called ‘Restrictions on Isle Of Wight ferries’ sent emails to the leader of the Isle of Wight council, Dave Stewart, voicing their concerns over a possible influx of second-home owners and holidaymakers for the bank holiday weekend.

Some within the Group had tried to book ferry crossings from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight for today, but found the 1pm, 3pm and 5pm crossings were fully booked. This understandably led to concerns that people weren’t heeding the council leader’s message to ‘stay away’.

Investigating further to find out what was going on, News OnTheWight has discovered something that sheds some light.

Understanding the capacity issues

News OnTheWight got in touch with Wightlink who confirmed that capacity on their vehicle ferry crossings has been much-reduced since the Coronavirus lockdown.

An example given is that their flagship ferry, Victoria of Wight, usually has a capacity for 1,170 passengers per crossing.

Since the lockdown this has been reduced to 100, with typically there being only around 20 passengers per crossing. Most of Wightlink’s foot passengers have switched to using the Hovercraft and other passengers are required to remain in their vehicles for the duration of the crossing.

Distancing and freight

Wightlink say it’s important to factor in that vehicles comes in all shapes and sizes and although there may be capacity for say 100 vehicles, once the spacing out of those vehicles is implemented, it could take the capacity down to 50 vehicles.

In addition, freight lorries obviously take up the space of several cars and so before long, a crossing could be fully booked, but well before reaching the new reduced capacity level.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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