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Hovertravel boss apologises as new craft come out of service

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 10:24

HOVERTRAVEL boss Neil Chapman has apologised to Isle of Wight travellers after the cross-Solent firm was forced to take its new £10m hovercraft out of service.
Just months after launching, Solent Flyer and Island Flyer are to be withdrawn at separate times over the coming weeks for, what the company called remedial and upgrade work.
It means passengers will have to rely on one-craft service, at times using the older Freedom 90 craft. The board of directors has confirmed it will be investing in the out-of-action, Island Express, in order to bring it into service in the near future.
In an open letter to Hovertravel customers, Mr Chapman said: "I have over the last few months sent several apologies as to the current situation and continued delays you have experienced, and whilst I would like to continue to sincerely say how sorry I am for the issues you have faced, I wanted to take this opportunity to advise of the plans and actions we are undertaking to resolve the issues we are facing."
A priority line will also be implemented for all season, travel card, and company ticket customers
One disgruntled commuter told the County Press: "This morning the captain of Freedom 90 had the cheek to come on the radio and say 'At least we are better than Southern Trains'. Such comparisons are childish and completely inappropriate to make to commuters who are running out of excuses with their employers.
"The Hovertravel directors should all be ashamed."
This news follows on from the cancellation of six services on Monday after a fault with the start-up on Island Flyer.
The new design craft have come under scrutiny from passengers before.
As previously reported by the County Press, the new craft criticised for a rough ride with "pitch and roll", even during calm conditions.
It was also reported that passengers and crew alike suffered from seasickness while travelling on the new craft.
The service will operate with the following cancellations until February 28:
Mon - Fri Ex Ryde 0730, 0800, 0830, 1600, 1630, 1700, 1730
Mon - Fri Ex Southsea 0745, 0815, 0845, 1615, 1645, 1715, 1745

 


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