HE WAS the Hampshire "super-commuter" whose journey to work involved two ferry crossings and a cycle ride across the Isle of Wight.

Dr Michael McCabe made headlines in 2001 after devising a highly-unusual way of getting from his home in the New Forest to the University of Portsmouth, where he worked.

Now Michael has made the 42-mile journey for the last time after announcing his retirement.

Using a battery-assisted bike he embarked on his bizarre route to work after becoming increasingly frustrated at the amount of time his daily commute took by train.

Delays and cancellations meant the 90-minute journey could take as long as four hours.

Michael eventually decided to cycle from his home in Sway to Lymington and catch the Wightlink ferry to Yarmouth. From there he rode across the Island and boarded a second ferry from Fishbourne to Portsmouth before pedalling his way to the university.

After a year he returned to more conventional commuting but revisited the route to mark his retirement.

He also used the nostalgic trip to raise money for the charity Brain Tumour Research and thus support one of his university colleagues, Professor Geoff Pilkington, who heads a team conducting research into the disease.

Michael, who lectured in mathematics, has faced health problems of his own.

In 2016, aged 62, he was found to have a rare auto-immune disease called polyarteritis nodosa, also known as PAN, and spent weeks in intensive care at Southampton General Hospital. He was also diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.

The condition rendered him disabled and put paid to his passion for marathon running.

Michael, who completed 33 marathons between 2002 and 2015, said: "I'm sad not to be able to run any more although I remain president of New Forest Runners."

Referring to his final cross-Solent commute he added: "My disability is relatively minor since I can walk about three or four miles but I was a little anxious, even though my buddy Dave Johnsen undertook the journey with me."

Wightlink provided free crossings for Michael’s final commute and also donated travel vouchers that can be raffled in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

The company's chief executive, Keith Greenfield, said: "We were keen to bid him a fitting farewell as a commuter but we hope to see him plenty of times in the future as a more orthodox visitor to the Island.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to Michael’s fundraising can do so via justgiving.com/fundraising/isle.