Isle of Wight ferry cuts fares for NHS patient travel

Image caption,
Wightlink says it is an important lifeline for islanders

Ferry passengers are to get reduced fares on services to and from the Isle of Wight if travelling to the mainland for hospital treatment.

Foot and car passengers will receive a 50% discount on routes between Fishbourne and Portsmouth, Ryde and Portsmouth and Yarmouth and Lymington.

The reduced fare will also apply to one person travelling with the patient, or two parents if the patient is a child.

The scheme, funded by ferry firm Wightlink, starts on 21 June.

Russell Kew, Wightlink's chief executive, said: "We recognise that we are an important lifeline for islanders.

Fair trading inquiry

"When someone is ill the last thing they want to think about is whether they can afford the cost of the ferry to a mainland hospital.

"We're pleased to be able to offer this discount to islanders as part of our contribution to Island life and the health and wellbeing of islanders."

Wightlink was recently the subject of an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) inquiry, along with Red Funnel and Hovertravel.

The three firms run the main ferry services to and from the island.

People had complained about high prices, unclear charging and declining service, but the OFT said it was not going to refer the matter to the Competition Commission.

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