Could a new car ferry service and terminal be coming to Ryde?

Ryde to Portsmouth route. <i>(Image: Google Maps)</i>
Ryde to Portsmouth route. (Image: Google Maps)

Plans for a new, all-electric Isle of Wight ferry service connecting Ryde and Portsmouth have been unveiled.

Wight Gateway Limited (WGL), the company behind the proposals, is also looking to develop a new Island port on land owned by the firm, in Ryde.

The news follows an announcement for a new service between Yarmouth and Lymington, as previously reportedThere have also been similar plans announced by Anderson Boat Cruises, which runs the Coral Star.

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In a statement to the County Press, Isle of Wight Council leader Cllr Phil Jordan said WGL's Ryde to Portsmouth route would have all-electric ferries, built locally on the Island, and powered by a dedicated Island solar farm.

The ships will be designed to carry passengers, cars, and small vans but there will be no provisions for lorries or large coaches on this specific route, Cllr Jordan said.

He said the company has agreed the terms on a ferry berth to be provided by Portsmouth International port (PIP), which is owned by Portsmouth City Council.

Speaking about the announcement today, Cllr Phil Jordan said: “I am incredibly supportive of this fantastic new initiative which is bringing forward vital connectivity options for Islanders and visitors alike.

"This is a much-needed project that will help us as an Island community to reinvigorate businesses, tourism, connectivity, NHS and much more. Travel options to the mainland are a vital service that Islanders want, need, and deserve.

"A recently commissioned independent passenger survey on cross Solent ferry usage confirmed that there would be strong customer support for the introduction of the proposed new ferry services.

"I therefore welcome and support this additional cross Solent travel opportunity”.

According to Companies House, WGL has three directors: John Clewley, John Fisher and Nick Wakefield.

Cllr Jordan said the "innovative ownership model" of the Ryde port aims to involve local investors.

WGL will be working with the council, the Island local MPs and central government to obtain National Significant Infrastructure Project designation and to secure a fast-track planning permission for the new Ryde terminal, he said.

Update

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely said: "This is good news. We need better, cheaper services to those offered by Wightlink and Red Funnel. I want to see new operators offer new services to challenge the existing stranglehold.

"I have been talking with the new service's director, Nick Wakefield, for some time and am very supportive of Nick and his colleagues' efforts. I am delighted that progress is being made.

“There is clearly some way to go and issues about landing on the Island around Ryde.

"However in principle, I strongly support new Solent ferry services.”