Red Funnel announces government funding of £296,000 to improve accessibility

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Red Funnel has received a grant from the Department of Transportation as part of its new Marine Accessibility Fund.

Following an open tender process which called on ferry operators across the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly to apply, the cross-Solent ferry company was awarded just over £296,000 to make significant improvements to the accessibility of its services.

What is planned
Upgrades to support accessibility to the Red Funnel fleet are due to begin imminently and will take place during each vessel’s regular annual maintenance throughout 2022. Work will focus on key areas including:

  • Creating more designated accessible seating
  • Upgrades to onboard emergency signaling and enhancements to each vessel’s public address system
  • The installation of push-button, self-closing automatic sliding doors on its vehicle ferries, to facilitate access for all passengers
  • Upgrades to all restrooms in the Vehicle Ferry Terminal

All upgrades are designed to provide passengers with improved service, regardless of the assistance they need to travel.

Collins: Funding helps us focus on upgrades to our services to improve the experience
Fran Collins, Managing Director of Red Funnel, said:

“Our service depends on both island residents and mainland visitors, who all travel for many different reasons and with different needs, so we are continually looking for ways to improve our facilities and meet the demands of everyone who travels with us.

“The Marine Accessibility Fund grant will help us focus on upgrades to our services to improve the experience for passengers with disabilities or accessibility needs, and to further improve similar tasks already planned for this year.

Courts: Committed to helping people travel with confidence
Robert Courts, Minister of Maritimes, added:

“This funding will tangibly improve access to this vital ferry connection, which is essential to keeping communities connected to the mainland.

“We are committed to helping people travel with confidence as we continue to rebuild from the pandemic.”

About the Maritime Accessibility Fund
The Maritime Accessibility Fund has been launched by the Department for Transport as a unique first opportunity for ferry operators on the Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly, designed to support the accessibility of ferry travel.

An initial funding pot of £1m has been made available to ferry operators through an open application process, with grants awarded to successful applicants.


News shared by Eloise on behalf of Red Funnel. Ed

Picture: Vitor Camilo under DC BY 2.0

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