Cross-Solent price rises

By Richard Wright

Saturday, December 8, 2012

 

TWO out of the three cross-Solent operators are raising their ticket prices in line with inflation.

Wightlink and Red Funnel have announced similar price hikes but Hovertravel has frozen its prices until March.

Red Funnel’s rates will be increased by between three and three-and-a-half percent from January 2 but bookings made before then will be charged at existing prices.

Red Funnel says it has kept rises as low as it can, taking into account the Retail Price Index and the higher cost of fuel, equipment and maintenance.

Wightlink freight tickets increase by four percent from January 7 but the company, which recently announced controversial cuts to services and jobs, says Isle of Wight resident fares, Multilink, season and foot passenger rates would be rising by three percent.

The company said it would keep its discount scheme, simplifying its fares tariff, and — in response to customer feedback — was dropping its administration fees for reprinting or making changes to tickets.

Hovertravel marketing manager Loretta Lale said: "Our winter fares freeze will last until the end of March when a review will be undertaken."

Introduction of higher rates by Wightlink and Red Funnel comes as a public meeting is organised by the Isle of Wight Trades Unions Council.

It will be held at St George’s Park, Newport, on Thursday, January 3 at 7pm. People have been invited to debate service cuts and the high cost of cross-Solent travel.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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