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  1. Hermit

    Windy Sunday

    Indeed, well done them. Whatever their other faults, the Wight Ryders are well-designed for their route and have only rarely been cancelled for bad weather. The fact that they’ve been able to continue while the car ferries haven’t suggests that on this occasion the determining factor has been wind speed rather than sea state.
  2. Hermit

    Windy Sunday

    So the oldest ferry is the only one that can cope with these (admittedly exceptional) conditions. Makes you wonder what will happen when she finally retires.
  3. Definitely an attractive place for a short break - lots of stunning scenery, a great network of footpaths, some big attractions (Osborne House, Carisbrooke Castle, IW Steam Railway), and some good places to eat. (Full disclosure - I live here!). But the cost of bringing a car over is a big issue. It can help if you book early or can find special offers. As to which route, you will see from this thread that Wightlink are particularly unreliable at the moment.
  4. Roundabouts are certainly an improvement on ‘priorité à droite’ junctions, but you need to be aware of the French habit of driving right round the outside of roundabouts, even if going to, say, the third exit, rather than taking a more direct line, as a British driver would. I have often nearly pulled out in front of a vehicle which I thought was turning off into the exit I was waiting to emerge from but which was carrying on round. I’ve often thought they could save on surfacing the middle parts of French roundabouts, since they are never used.
  5. Red Funnel have announced that their summer timetables for both car ferry and Redjet services will be introduced a week late because the refit programme is taking longer than expected. Problematic refits all round this winter!
  6. To be fair, I think most regular travellers would not have any complaint about cancellations due to fog, or indeed any other extreme weather. These are facts of life and clearly the master’s judgement on safety has to be respected. But it’s the cancellations due to mechanical breakdown, to equipment not up to the job, or (least forgiveably) unavailability of staff that rankle. All these can fairly be laid at the door of the management.
  7. I entirely agree. In theory the Fishbourne route has got a lot going for it in comparison with Red Funnel - shorter crossing, enough seating, easier escape from the mainland port, A3 better as a route to London (at least for me) - but this all goes for nothing if you cannot count on the service. The risk of spending 2 hours+ waiting after a cancellation is too great. The cancellation of the midnight ferry last Friday night was particularly shocking. This was eventually rescinded when a suitable member of staff was found, but by then some people must have felt compelled to completely rejig their weekend plans or buy a ticket from Red Funnel. And there have been occasions in the past when it has been cancelled at short notice without reinstatement, leaving passengers stranded on the mainland, without even the option of the ‘restricted passenger numbers’ ferry at 3am. You might expect there to be an obligation to provide hotel accommodation in such circumstances, but there isn’t.
  8. Apparently both - the Wightlink email says it’s due to ‘adverse weather and reduced power on Wight Light’. It’s alarming that even a moderate wind such as we have today is enough to knock out Wight Light. The resulting 2 hour interval service all day will have led to a lot of unhappy customers - really not acceptable.
  9. St Clare passing St Helens on her way to Dunkirk. St Faith still in Southampton. This leaves VoW and Wight Light to maintain the temporary (reduced) timetable by themselves. Has there ever been a time when Wightlink have offered less capacity between Portsmouth and Fishbourne, and what does that say about their market share compared with Red Funnel? The number of sailings on the cat must also be at a historically low level too, now that Wightlink do not charter a relief vessel for the refit period. This can cause difficulty in the rush hours, as happened in the storm a week ago when there was an influx of extra passengers following the cancellation of the hovercraft.
  10. They’re certainly not doing well at the moment. But, as a multi link ticket holder, I’ve just received a Christmas card from Keith Greenfield with some vouchers for free hot drinks. So that’s alright then.
  11. I recall experiencing something similar with one of the Saints years ago on a very rough crossing to Fishbourne.
  12. I agree it is true that reliability has improved greatly (notwithstanding today’s breakdown). But I would treat the published reliability figures with suspicion. For instance, the prolonged absence in August of one of the two cats was hardly reflected in the figures - in such situations Wightlink presumably simply declare a new timetable rather than admit that there have been cancellations. As anyone who has been involved in setting or monitoring performance measures will know, temptations to skew results in one’s favour are hard to resist.
  13. An update on the barriers - one gate has now been designated the Wightlink gate, with bright blue decals on it. This does at least make it easier for first-time visitors to know where to go, ie through the barrier as opposed to looking for an unobstructed route elsewhere. But the gate still has to be opened by the attendant. Last night I was looked at a bit suspiciously when I asked to be let through a full hour before the next (last) ferry, but none of the alternative attractions on the Hard appealed on a bitterly cold evening!
  14. Indeed - I embarked there for a 3-night cruise to Harwich via Jersey ( I had never been there, and it was not much more expensive than Condor) and Honfleur. This was on Voyager, run by a company called Voyages of Discovery, with whom I had been on a number of longer trips to further-flung places. An elderly ship of great charm, carrying about 600 passengers as I recall, so very different from the Southampton monsters, Unfortunately, the company has since collapsed. The arrangements at the PIP worked well, but I don’t recall there being a cafe open. Having since used the terminal as a footie, I have to say it’s a pretty miserable place to wait until BF eventually deign to call you to board.
  15. Rouen is a very attractive city to visit, plenty of good restaurants available after you have done your cultural duty by going round the wonderful cathedral. For BF enthusiasts, easily accessible by train from Le Havre, where the station is walkable from the BF terminal if you miss the shuttle bus.
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