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Red Funnel optimises Red Jet sailings for key workers

Wed, Apr 1 2020

Red Funnel Ferries has today announced it will be making further changes to its Red Jet service, as it works to ensure it continues to offer a lifeline service, particularly for key workers travelling to and from the Isle of Wight.

Red Funnel has been working closely with local NHS services to optimise a hi-speed sailing schedule that coordinates with NHS workers’ shift patterns as much as possible. Following these talks and taking into account greatly reduced customer demand, the new schedule will feature four early morning and five evening sailings. The schedule will operate as follows.

From Southampton:

Morning: 05:45, 06:45, 07:45 08:45

Evening: 16:45, 17:45, 18:45, 19:45, 20:45

From West Cowes:

Morning: 06:15, 07:15, 08:15, 09:15

Evening: 17:15, 18:15, 19:15, 20:15, 21:15

The new schedule will come into effect on Saturday 4th April.

The service reduction comes as customer demand for Red Funnel’s Red Jet service decreases as a result of Covid-19 with the public heeding the government’s guidance on non-essential travel. The revised timetable mirrors recent customer travel patterns and foot passenger numbers, while ensuring there are hi-speed sailings available that align with the majority of key worker shifts.

Foot passengers will continue to be able to travel on Red Funnel’s vehicle ferry service, which will continue to operate to its advertised schedule throughout the day.

Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, said: “We have seen a significant decline in foot passengers using our Red Jet service in recent weeks due to the government’s guidance regarding non-essential travel. Whilst we are pleased the public is taking this advice seriously and only travelling if absolutely necessary, it subsequently means we are seeing very reduced passenger numbers on all sailings, particularly on our off-peak services where we have sailings operating with very few or even no customers at all.  

“Given the current government guidance and very low passengers numbers, the revised timetable is more appropriate and the crossing times will still enable the majority of those still travelling with us to continue to use the Red Jet service, especially NHS and key workers. We are also continuing to operate our vehicle ferry services that foot passengers can use.”


For further information regarding Red Funnel, please contact:

Enya Lumley or Abi Rumney at McKenna Townsend

T: 01425 472330
E: [email protected]

Editor’s note

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 two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘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, 2020 is Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats.

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