Wightlink is retiring St Helen, the oldest ferry in its Portsmouth-Fishbourne fleet and bringing in a currently under-used replacement from the Lymington-Yarmouth passenger and vehicle service, where traffic has decreased by 15 per cent over the past four years.

Although Wightlink has used Croatia-built ‘W Class’ trio Wight Light, Wight Sky and Wight Sun on the Western Solent route in recent years, one of the ferries has operated only three round trips a day for half the year, providing just eight per cent of route capacity. Wightlink Chief Operating Officer John Burrows said: ‘To secure the future of the service, we have a responsibility to match capacity with customer demand and adapt our timetable to ensure punctuality and continued reliability.’

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