Minister of State for Transport, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, has announced that Hovertravel has been awarded ‘Leader’ level in the Government’s Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme.

The Leader level is the top level of accreditation in the scheme, with Hovertravel being one of two companies recognised at this level, alongside Brighton & Hove Buses.

Accessibility Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: ”Our Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme recognises operators which put disabled passengers at the heart of their service.

“I’m delighted that Hovertravel has secured the top accreditation as an organisation which takes great pride in providing accessible transport and helps give passengers confidence to travel.”

Hovertravel is the only marine transport operator and only ferry operator to be accredited in the scheme.

Having launched HoverCare in 2016, the Isle of Wight ferry company has developed the initiative from a series of comprehensive internal training procedures into a company-wide approach which regularly shares best practice with other businesses.

Hovertravel has reached out to the communities on both sides of the Solent, hosting open days for different community action and special interest groups.

These sessions provided valuable feedback for developing better procedures and enhanced facilities such as ‘quiet spaces’ as well giving individuals and their friends and families a first-hand guided experience on the hovercraft.

Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, explains:

“Hovertravel is a strong champion for accessibility and we have made HoverCare part of our corporate DNA. All of my team passionately believe the excitement of a hovercraft flight should be accessible to all and we focus on engaging with our customers to help us achieve this aim. This accreditation also recognises our commitment to helping other companies with their own journey to becoming more accessible.”