Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Crowdfunded Isle of Wight ferry service ends trial

Mersey Rose
Image caption The company is using a former lifeboat to take passengers across the Solent

A trial cross-Solent ferry service, set up as a crowdfunded community venture, has ended early due to low passenger numbers.

Starlight Ferries began sailings between Yarmouth and Lymington in May using a former lifeboat.

It had hoped to run a pilot service until October but has announced the last crossing will be on Friday.

A statement said passenger numbers "proved to be too few for a viable service".

It said "some funds" would be returned to people who had contributed to the crowdfunding appeal.

Ahead of the launch of the service, Starlight Ferries, set up by a group of island residents, said it had received more than £6,000 in donations to test demand for a pilot service.

It said the former lifeboat, Mersey Rose, it was using had "limited facilities" and would appeal to passengers with a "sense of adventure".

In December a service on the same route run by Scoot Ferries collapsed after four months.

Ferry services to and from the island are also currently run by Hovertravel, Red Funnel and Wightlink.

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