A meeting of the Hayling Ferry Working Party took place on Tuesday 16 October 2018.
A number of the members were keen to alter the times that the buses run to the ferry, in order to provide transport to tourists and to residents wishing to visit Portsmouth/Hayling for leisure and shopping as well as work.
Councillor Wilson pointed out that the Council Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money had been given to provide alternative options of transports for those needing to commute between Hayling and Portsmouth for work, thus easing congestion during the rush hour.
Concerns were raised by campaigners that whilst the service was not being used the CIL money would be exhausted running a service that few passengers used, and that the CIL money would be better spent providing a service later in the morning or on a Saturday when it would still serve residents and tourists, and possibly raise the profile sufficiently to attract daily commuters on a regular basis.
It was also felt that by consistently running the bus with a notice stating the “Bus was not in Service” the service was contributing to the negativity which had formed in the minds of the public. We were assured that this would be rectified within one working week (Monday 22nd October).
However as Councillor Wilson stated, the conditions of the agreement with the CIL money must continue to be observed and we need to explore means of expanding the service without breaching the conditions; therefore additional money would be needed. The owner of the Portsmouth Bus Company has promised that this would be addressed immediately and that the costings and viability of putting the bus on during a Saturday would be explored and the necessary information would be sent to the working party as soon as possible. The Hayling Ferry Working Party were hopeful that a Saturday trial might start on 1st December 2018, though this was a stated aim rather than an agreed date and depends upon budgets and costings which will be provided ahead of the Monday 12th November meeting.
All members of the Working Group including campaigners and Councillors are anxious that this service be a success and will look to further advertise and market the route and timetable further.