THE future of a popular historic Hampshire ferry service has been secured.

It comes after fears were raised by residents that the Hythe Ferry could be lost as it was plagued with problems which saw it run an ‘unpredictable’ service.

The issues saw only one of the three boats in service as the Hotspur IV needs a new hull. While the Uriah Heap needs repairs as it suffered damage when it was in collision in Town Quay.

Meanwhile the regular boat Great Expectations suffered mechanical problems after it came back on the water after being out of service for a month for its annual inspection.

Director of White Horse Ferries, Peter Lay met with Chris Harrison, chairman of the Hythe and Dibden Parish and Hampshire county councillor for Dibden and Hythe, Malcolm Wade, to thrash out an action plan.

Daily Echo:

The meeting saw Mr Lay admit communication with passengers and technical problems have been the main issue according to Cllr Malcolm Wade.

Cllr Wade, said: “They talked about the recent problems they have been having after the technical issues and the accident one of their vessels had in Town Quay and I bought the issues that local residents spoke to me about and their concerns for the future.

“White Horse Ferries admitted that their communication could be better but they were concentrating on solving the technical problems they were having and did not communicate to the public well enough.”

The talks also included plans to have all three boats operational which would see both the Uriah Heap and Hotspur IV repaired and back in service.

Hythe Ferry receives a £50,000 subsidy from Hampshire County Council.

Cllr Wade, added: “I welcome the fact they have reassured us that the future of the ferry is secure at the moment and I will be working with Hampshire County Council to make sure that happens.”

The Daily Echo contacted White Horse Ferries for comment, but they have not yet replied.