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martijon

Wightlink refit timetable

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They really need to bin off the W-Class, they were crap when they were new and are falling apart already judging by all the issues they have had over the last few years. It's such a shame as with all the upheaval of replacing the C-Class after nearly 40 years good service, the opportunity was there for a genuine step forward (which Wightlink are quite capable of, as seen with the original Saints and most recently the VoW), and yet they've ended up with three expensive ships which seem unsatisfactory in pretty much every way.

A shame, but I fear better ships will be a harder thing to implement than building another VoW for Portsmouth and just closing the western route altogether. I hope that doesn't happen...

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Red Funnel have a great opportunity to add another raptor with the current 3 and Kestrel for a 30 minute service and become the premier service to IOW. Wightlink must have used a lot of customer loyalty up.recently.

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To be fair, I'm a regular user and generally Wightlink serve my needs perfectly well (although I use Portsmouth rather than Lymington now as the service and tonnage on the Western route is poor). I also prefer the A3 to the M3, so am likely to stick with WL where possible. But yes, if they keep cancelling sailings (and if I'm unlucky enough to get caught up in it more than a couple of times), they will undo the 30 years custom and goodwill I have had with them rather quickly I am afraid. Fingers crossed they sort things out soon.

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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 This was eventually rescinded when a suitable member of staff was found, but by then some people must have felt compelled to completely rejig their weekend plans or buy a ticket from Red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.

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Quite. The Fishbourne route thrived throughout the last century compared to Southampton mainly because of its speed and regularity, two things which have been on the decline since the mid-2000s.

Touch wood I have only ever had one ferry cancelled on the Eastern route (ex-Fishbourne about 3 years back, apparently due to fog - whatever happened to radar? - but I went and sat in the pub for two hours and had an early meal), but I often get the late ferry as a rule. If, as in the case of that midnight one, it was cancelled, I'm not sure what I would do?

If I was on the island I'd go back to my caravan for the night, fine. If I were on the mainland, I would probably demand a transfer to the next ferry from Lymington, and if that were not possible, I'd probably have to go back to London and try again next weekend. But many of their customers don't have those options and I find it amazing that WL (or anyone) can just arbitrarily remove that link and leave people stranded until the morning really. 

Maybe they should be forced to do a deal with Premier Inn etc as a contingency. The threat of a large business expense would probably focus their attention on reducing cancellations!

Edited by Pigeonrat

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I have only ever had one ferry cancelled on the Eastern route (ex-Fishbourne about 3 years back, apparently due to fog - whatever happened to radar?

Radar isn't a universal panacea. Wven if you can see them they might not see you or even be looking in the right direction and most small leisure craft don't carry radar and are likely to have a low radar reflection signature anyway. Travelling too and from the IoW is like crossing the M1 motorway as the Solent is so busy. Can often be tricky enough in good visibility with ships peeling off all the time into the major and minor ports on both sides. If the master feels it is unsafe to travel then it most certainly is!

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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.

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5 hours ago, martijon said:

2 ship hourly service on Monday - Wight Light is having an engine replaced.  Let's hope the Faith behaves herself!!

Needs to as only going at 6.3kn at the moment. You could row faster.

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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!

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10 hours ago, Hermit said:

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!

The problem is red eagle still not fixed after 3 months of repairs so has messed up the refits of the other 2 ..luckily red kestrel use helps a great deal to get 12 artics off of the raptors which frees up lots of space and time as when a trailer is being dropped on board the deck has to be clear of people ..

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On 30/01/2020 at 15:49, eagleeye said:

St faith is due back tomorrow afternoon so hopefully been fixed so can at least get a 3 ship service on Monday onwards 

Hello Eagleeye!

How long was the St Faith out for? I think it was just there regular service but I wonder why the lift wasn't fixed. Any ideas?

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Been out having an engine fixed for quite a while not sure how long but possibly since early December..Wight light is broke down now so only one boat at the moment till tomorrow when 2 are in service 

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Thanks Eagleeye!

 

I just had a look on vesselltracker.com and looks like it was in Dunkirk for over a month, then another 45 days in Portsmouth.  It would be interesting to know what works were carried out.

best

Lorax 

 

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Looking at the Mark e Traffic it looks like another temporary timetable binned today. Hourly service but Wight Light struggling along with Faith on hulk. Are They not capable of working out when their vessels will be available. 0907 and VOW left Portsmouthbut WL not yet arrived IOW. Why advertise a timetable if St Faith off. She was working Saturday.

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Hi Adicat - who undertakes their repair/refit works? Is the juggling available vessels to do with engineering/functional problems, or staffing/manning problems? I'm with HERMIT, in that the crossing is really important and useful - it should be protected and properly serviced. This does not appear to be happening.

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