A SMALL number of additional early morning sailings are being reintroduced by Wightlink following a rise in freight traffic.

Wightlink says the recent easing of government restrictions has produced increased demand, resulting in the introduction of two additional round-trips on its Portsmouth to Fishbourne route.

There will now be weekday sailings from Portsmouth Gunwharf at 6am, 8am and 10am, and from Fishbourne at 7am, 9am and 11am.

Drivers will still have to comply with rules introduced earlier this year by remaining in their vehicles during all sailings.

Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield said: “While the volume of traffic is a small fraction of what we would expect at this time of the year, we are seeing a small increase in freight movement as the economy continues to be opened up.

“Hopefully, this increased freight demand reflects a small but significant step towards a return to normality.

"In the meantime, we continue to keep community safety at the heart of our operation as we plan for future travel in line with government advice.

“We continue to work with Isle of Wight Council and the Isle of Wight Transport Infrastructure Group to ensure the sailings we provide reflect the latest advice as well as the Island’s supply and travel needs.”