The Hythe Ferry is imposing an additional £1 charge on cyclists from May 1. This is on top of the £5 adult return fare and £3 child return fare.
We think it is unfair to penalise cyclists. The company says it is imposing the charge because it needs to make up the revenue lost from the council’s withdrawal of the subsidy for pensioners. We appreciate that the company has lost income but it is unfair to pick on cyclists.
Here are eight reasons why bicycles should remain free:
- Cyclists do not use the pier train, which is expensive to run and can become congested. The ferry has more the double the capacity of the pier train.
- There is ample room on the ferry for bicycles and they impose no extra costs on the company.
- Charging for bikes makes it more likely that people will choose to drive instead, contributing to pollution and congestion. All passengers using the ferry are helping reduce pollution and congestion, cyclists even more so than some foot passengers because they do not use cars or taxis at either end of their journey.
- Cyclists widen the catchment area of the ferry, which is an inconvenient walk from villages surrounding Hythe.
- There is no charge for carrying other large objects on the ferry, such as prams and suitcases, so why pick on bicycles?
- The company incorrectly states that it is following the “normal procedure” of train companies by charging for bikes. The Association of Train Operating Companies says no train company charges to carry bicycles.
- The ferry is on National Cycle Route 2 and picks up considerable extra business because of this. The ferry company should welcome cyclists rather than penalising them.
- Once the principle of charging for bikes has been established, the charge could be raised in future years.
SCC is joining the campaign to oppose this new charge on bikes. You can help in two ways:
- Meet at Town Quay at 4.30 pm on Friday 15th April with bicycles and posters etc to catch the 5.00pm ferry to Hythe in order to deliver a petition to the ferry management.
Sign a petition, which you can download here, then email it to Ben Webster at the email address in the document, or post it to him at 11 Blenheim Gardens, Dibden Purlieu, Southampton, SO45 4RW
Title: Hythe Ferry protest
Location: Town Quay
Description: Meet at Town Quay and take Hythe Ferry to protest against new charges for bikes on the ferry.
Start Time: 16:30