Despite the loss of a subsidy worth £55,000 a year, Hythe Ferry operator White Horse Ferries reports an increase in fare-paying passengers on its service from Hythe Pier to Southampton Town Quay. What is one of England’s oldest passenger links with a history going back 500 years saw travel passes for the elderly and disabled withdrawn earlier in the year, while the concession still applies to local bus travel.

White Horse director Peter Lay said fuel costs had gone up from £3,000 to £10,000 a month, adding: ‘We have a subsidy from Hampshire County Council that has been ring-fenced so it hasn’t been affected by the reduction in local government budgets. But the money we received from the concessionary travel scheme has gone and that has to be replaced by fare-paying passengers.’

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