Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire's Hythe Ferry service future in doubt

Hythe Ferry Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Hythe Ferry runs between the Hampshire market town and Southampton's Town Quay

The future of a ferry service is in doubt after staff were issued with a letter warning them of possible redundancies.

Hythe Ferry runs between the Hampshire market town, across Southampton Water to the city's Town Quay.

The operators said they issued staff with a letter warning of possible redundancies on Tuesday.

The company has not given any further details but said it was holding talks with other operators.

'Vital service'

In a statement, Hythe Ferry Ltd said "everything should remain normal whilst talks with other operators and avenues are investigated".

"All avenues are being explored," it added.

Councillor Malcolm Wade, of Hampshire County Council - which currently subsidises the service, said he understood that the authority would continue financial support "to either the current owners or any new owner to ensure this vital service keeps running".

"Local residents are deeply concerned, not just those commuting to Southampton but also business coming in," he said.

"It is important for the economy and also in terms of its historical significance. There has been a ferry service at Hythe for as long as I can remember and it's important we retain this service."

Following a request from Mr Wade, Hythe and Dibden Parish Council said it was looking to speak to the ferry provider "to see what help they would welcome at this time".

It added the issue would also be discussed at the next council meeting on 26 October.

Hampshire County Council has not yet responded to a BBC request for comment.

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