Crossings to Southampton increase upon first day of expanded RedJet timetable and relaunch of Quayconnect
Wed, Apr 21 2021
Red Funnel is pleased to announce a successful first day of its expanded Red Jet timetable and the reinstatement of its Quayconnect bus service which resumed yesterday (Monday 12 April) following the easing of government restrictions.
The return to through-day coverage, offering customers 12 Hi-Speed departures from each side of the Solent, Monday to Friday and 11 departures on weekends, was well received by local passengers, many of whom were travelling from the Isle of Wight to Southampton for day trips. In addition, the Bluestar operated, Quayconnect bus service has resumed taking passengers into the heart of Southampton from the Red Jet terminal at Town Quay free of additional charge to all Red Funnel passengers. Quayconnect’s return to service follows a suspension of nearly 12 months due to the onset of the pandemic.
Popular reasons for Islanders to venture into Southampton on Monday included shopping trips in line with the reopening of non-essential retail, with popular destinations including Westquay Shopping Centre, Primark and IKEA. Another common reason for travel included hospital appointments, with the midday availability of the Red Jet improving convenience.
Red Funnel staff on board the Red Jet seamlessly welcomed additional passengers and upheld continued Covid safety measures, including the compulsory wearing of face coverings while on board, in the terminal and when embarking and disembarking, as well as reduced on-board capacity. The Red Jet’s new disembarkation process, which now sees passengers invited to depart in four sections, is also continuing as a further means of supporting social distancing and deterring passengers from clustering whilst disembarking.
Shoreside, the Quayconnect bus service welcomed over 100 passengers, with customers clearly welcoming the increased convenience of the shuttle service.
Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, commented: “It’s fantastic to be able to return our Red Jet service back to a more frequent schedule in line with the easing of government restrictions and we’re delighted the Quayconnect is back up and running to provide that additional service for passengers. We continue to closely monitor customer demand for our services and will ensure we’re taking the right actions at the right time when it comes to further expansion of our timetables in the weeks and months to come. As has been the case since the onset of the pandemic, all decisions we take will be carefully risk-assessed and aligned with the latest government guidance. The safety of our customers and colleagues has, and will continue to be, our top priority.”
For Red Jet and Quayconnect bus timetables, FAQs and more information visit www.redfunnel.co.uk/redjet
For further information regarding Red Funnel, please contact:
Enya Lumley or Leila Andrews at McKenna Townsend
About Red Funnel
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 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service. 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 its on board café, ‘ReFuel’. The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Rhythm Tree, The Great Wonderfest, Wight Proms, Cowes Classics, and Walk the Wight as well as a range of community and niche interest events. Red Funnel’s Charity of the Year, 2021 is Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats.
For more information visit: www.redfunnel.co.uk