Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries has confirmed that 2014 was a record year for the company in terms of the number of vehicles carried.

Assisted by growth in the total cross-Solent ferry market of 0.7% for passengers and 1.5% for cars, the company saw a 3.7% increase in customers using its West Cowes Red Jet route and carried 7.8% more passengers, 9.7% more cars, 10.8% more coaches and 9.6% more freight vehicles on its Southampton-East Cowes service.

In cross-Solent market share terms, the company increased its share of the car market to a record 39.7% (36.8% PY) and its total passenger share to 38.5% (36.4% PY).

Following the increased demand, the company has announced that from March 27 it will add two additional return sailings to its Southampton-East Cowes service.

A new early morning, week day sailing will depart at 02:40 from Southampton (and 04:05 from East Cowes) to provide additional freight capacity. The second new sailing, designed primarily for the growing number of short break and weekend visitors from London is on Friday evenings only, leaving Southampton at 20:10 and 21:40 from East Cowes. There will also be a slight re-timing of some other sailings.

The new timetable is open for reservations and prices can be secured with a deposit of £25 if booking more than 30 days in advance.

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