Wightlink has warned all tourists gearing up for their Isle of Wight holidays to be aware of an early change to the timetable, bbc.co.uk reports.
Blaming the summer washout for a downturn in passengers, Wightlink explained it is bringing in the winter timetable two months earlier than normal. Typically, the winter timetable would come into force on November 5 but this year will see it brought forward to September 17.
The change will affect all Wightlink routes from Portsmouth to Ryde, Lymington to Yarmouth and Portsmouth to Fishbourne. Whilst the lower booking numbers have been put down to a lack of sun, Wightlink also explained that rising fuel prices also prompted the earlier changeover.
For the duration of the winter, Portsmouth to Ryde ferries will operate on an hourly basis at the weekends, whilst Portsmouth to Fishbourne will see a three boat service running on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
Explaining the situation to iwcp.co.uk, Wightlink marketing manager Kerry Jackson explained: “Many businesses have had to adapt their business to remain viable.
“Therefore, we have had no option but to reduce our ongoing costs wherever possible. The changes have been necessary due to significant fuel increases we have incurred this year along with the inclement weather which, combined with the economic downturn, has impacted our business.”