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Hovertravel is to hold consultations with residents and travellers to the Isle of Wight regarding potential service changes, justwight.com reports.

The company, which runs the hovercraft service between Southsea and Ryde, has claimed that short turnarounds during peak operating hours have impacted its performance targets. Furthermore, slight delays as the crafts deal with huge volumes of passengers have created slight delays which sometimes mean commuters do not make their connection bus service once they return to dry land.

In light of this, Hovertravel has unveiled a series of proposals to change its timetabling arrangements, then offered these to locals, regular travellers and those who use the service when on Isle of Wight breaks to vote on what they think.

In order to gain a fair and true understanding of public opinion, Hovertravel has not only asked users to come forward with their opinions on the proposals but has also included a “no change” option for those who would ideally prefer the service to run as it has been.

One of the proposals involves reducing peak-time flights from four an hour to three in order to leave a grace period between them. The remainder of the day would then be unchanged.

Speaking to iwcp.co.uk of the company’s decision to canvas local opinion, managing director of Hovertravel, Neil Chapman, explained: “It is important for us to consult with our customers before we make any changes so that we develop a greater understanding of their needs.

“Hovertravel strongly believes that as well as suggesting possible alternatives, it is essential the consultative process allows customers to pick an option of no change. At this early stage, with the consultation starting before Christmas and running until the end of January, it appears that the majority of customers to date have picked the no change option.”