Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council, and New Forest District Council have allocated £67,500 to Hythe Ferry to continue future service.
The ferry connects Hythe, on the South West of the River Test, to Southampton port. It allows people to travel much easier across the river to more of the New Forest and beyond. Its operator, Blue Funnel Ferries, ran out of money for the service due to its cancellation during the pandemic, and they could not afford essential yearly costs.
A Crowdfunding page was set up to raise £60,000 when the three local authorities offered to help.
Speaking in The Daily Echo, Cllr Rob Humby, deputy leader of Hampshire County Council, said:
We want to do what we can to help. Without additional financial support the ferry operators have made it clear they will not be able to carry on, resulting in the loss of valuable local services.
County councilor David Harrison commented:
This is a good example of local authorities working together to help secure an important public transport option. There seems to be a growing recognition of the need for ferries, buses and the railway to help the people of Totton and the Waterside get around without adding to the traffic queues and having a negative impact on air quality.