THE MOTHER of three-time Olympic medallist Kelly Sotherton has said she felt trapped on the Island after the Wightlink wheelchair ramps were out of service for three weeks.

Yvonne Sotherton said she had been unable to use the FastCat because a manual walkway was being used, which was narrower than the linkspan with a steeper angle.

The ramp was damaged over the Christmas holidays by high winds and required a lengthy repair.

Yvonne said: "I think it is disgusting that they have not put them back in service sooner, what did they think people with wheelchairs were going to do?"

Yvonne said she was unable to get the hovercraft because it was too far from the station for her, and the Red Funnel added an extra two hours to her journey and the bus did not take her to the terminal.

Yvonne said: "It is crazy. I have wanted to travel off the Island to go visit the museums in London but have been unable to do so - normally it's really easy for me to get the train from Shanklin and get across to Portsmouth.

"It is really hard for me to get to other ferries."

A Wightlink spokesperson said: "We are sorry that some of our customers have had problems using the replacement walkway on our FastCat route. The ramp is now back in service."