Southampton's CityLink Bus Service saved by Red Funnel

10-04-2014 Red Funnel Ferries has announced it is going to step in and rescue CityLink, the free arterial bus service which connects Southampton Central station with the city centre and the Isle of Wight ferry terminals on Town Quay.

Despite carrying over 1 million passengers per annum, the CityLink service faced the axe after Southampton City Council and another partner took the decision to withdraw their funding from 12 May 2014.

Red Funnel will take over the service from 12 May and is finalising details of the operation with, Bluestar who will continue to provide the service.

The new service will operate every 30 minutes using the existing route along Portland Terrace and Castle Way, connecting most Red Jet arrivals and departures on Town Quay with South West Trains services to and from London Waterloo. The service will remain FREE of charge for all Red Funnel ticket holders and all Rail and National Express customers who are in possession of valid through-tickets to and from the Isle of Wight. Tickets must be shown to the driver when boarding.

Non-Red Funnel customers are still very welcome to use the service although a flat fare of £1 per trip will charged onboard the bus. Details of the new timetable will be available from Red Funnel’s ticket offices and online at from the middle of April.

Kevin George, CEO of Red Funnel Ferries “We believe it is essential that we continue to provide a fully integrated transport link for the Isle of Wight by linking our Hi-Speed Red Jet and East Cowes ferry services with the cities rail and coach services”.

Jonathan Green, Sales & Marketing Director for Red Funnel commented “By taking overthe CityLink contract we now have scope to improve its visual identity and integrate it with our real-time ferry information system so customers can see where connecting services are in relation to one another. In time, we would also like to improve connections for National Express customers”.

For further information please call Red Funnel on 0844 844 2687 or visit


Notes to Editors
CityLink started operating in September 2000, supported by long term funding from Red Funnel Ferries, Southampton City Council, WestQuay and South West Trains. Red Funnel absorbed South West Trains funding contribution from May 2012. It has been FREE to users since its inception.

Through rail tickets to East or West Cowes are available from any rail station on the national rail network, most ticket vending machines and most websites which sell rail tickets. Through rail tickets from the Isle of Wight are available from Red Funnel’s ticket offices at East and West Cowes.

Through coach tickets to East or West Cowes are available from any National Express coach station, most ticket vending machines and from the National Express website. Through National Express tickets from the Isle of Wight are available from Red Funnel’s ticket offices at East and West Cowes.

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.1m passengers and over 700,000 vehicles on its route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on the Isle of Wight. In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’, the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes and two food & beverage brands ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’. The Company is also a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Isle of Wight’s not for profit destination management organisation.