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Crash closes Isle of Wight chain ferry

The Isle of Wight chain ferry has been closed after a worker was reportedly hit by a car which crashed into the vessel.

The man, reported to be a member of the chain ferry staff, was said to have been pinned against the gates of the boat when the car collided with it on Friday evening.

Ferry services suspended Credit: Darren Toogood

The ferry, known as Cowes floating bridge, has been suspended and will be replaced by water taxi services for foot passengers until at least midnight.

The driver of the car was reported to have been treated at the scene.

The closure is likely to result in disruption as the annual Cowes Week yachting regatta which begins today.

Investigation on chain ferry Credit: Darren Toogood

Isle of Wight Council apologised for the inconvenience.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page last night the council said:

"Cowes Floating Bridge is currently suspended until further notice. This is due to the vessel being damaged by a vehicle that drove into it. Water taxi services for foot passengers will operate in place of the floating bridge, between Cowes and East Cowes tomorrow from 7am until midnight. Limited service will operate between 6pm and 7pm tomorrow."

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Port of Dover: 'Customers remain our priority'

Following today's tribunal ruling, the Port of Dover said its priority was to ensure an effective ferry operation for customers.

Tim Waggott, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover said: "Our immediate thoughts are with those who are directly affected by this decision.

"The ruling comes at a time when Europe’s busiest ferry port has just achieved record freight volumes and so our priority is to ensure that our customers continue to be provided with a great level of service and choice.

"We will also work tirelessly on delivering our ongoing major investment plans to provide extra capacity and significant new job opportunities for local people.

"We will continue to consult regularly with all of our major ferry customers, and community groups, in the days and weeks ahead as we plan our way forward to future success.“

Ferry closure appeal dismissed

An appeal against closure by MyFerryLink, the cross-channel ferry service operated by Eurotunnel, has been rejected by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

It was originally ordered to stop running in a ruling on June 6th, 2013.

MyFerryLink stemmed out of SeaFrance which went into liquidation in January 2012. Three of their ships were bought by Eurotunnel who set up MyFerryLink and a battle with the existing ferry operators ensued.

Those companies claimed it gave Eurotunnel dominance in the market but Eurotunnel insists MyFerryLink is a free-standing company that's totally separate from them.

The competition commission's now agreed with the traditional ferry operators so the MyFerryLink service will have to shut down.

Ferry firm has been ordered to stop operating Credit: ITV Meridian

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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Ferry operators fuel furore

A huge increase in cross-Channel ferry fares is being predicted if the operators have to switch to more environmentally-friendly fuels in two years time. They claim their costs will increase by up to 80 per cent and that will have a knock-on effect for passengers.

Environmentalists say the industry has a duty to reduce the pollution ferries pump out. David Johns reports, talking to MP Caroline Lucas, Dave Balston from the UK Chamber of Shipping, Carsten Jensen of DFDS Seaways, and MEP Keith Taylor.

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