A CAMPAIGN to save the Hythe Ferry has already raised almost £7,000 - more than ten per cent of its target.

More than 230 people have supported a Crowdfunding page launched last month after Blue Funnel Ferries announced it had run out of money.

The ferry enables people to travel to Southampton and back without adding to congestion on the A326 and other roads in the area.

One of the comments posted on the Crowdfunding page says: "This vital link between Hythe and Southampton needs to be preserved. It is part of our heritage and needs to be saved for future generations to benefit and enjoy."

Another adds: "Hythe Ferry is so important for the Waterside and surrounding area. We must keep it going."

As reported in the Daily Echo, coronavirus restrictions and a corresponding drop in passenger numbers have left Blue Funnel Ferries facing a cash crisis.

The ferry normally operates between Hythe Pier and Town Quay but sailings were suspended in December, with Tier 4 restrictions being followed by the latest lockdown.

The Crowdfunding campaign, which aims to raise £60,000, has been launched by Ashleigh Mutimear, 35, of Butts Ash, Hythe.

Ashleigh said: "The Hythe Ferry is no longer 'in danger'. It will close for good in the next few months unless we help.

"The ferry has not been running since Christmas Eve 2020. They have nothing left to get going again. So far they have been turned down for all available government grants.

"The local community and lovers of the ferry need to show support and stop us losing such a special piece of our history.

"I've used the ferry my whole life and do so as much as possible - I just love it.

"I love being on the water, I love seeing our little village, and I love how easy it is to get to and from Southampton without any traffic."

Last year Hampshire County Council and two other local authorities gave the service a total of £45,000 in a bid to keep it afloat.

To donate go online and visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/savethehytheferry