Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to look at the challenges posed by Isle of Wight ferry travel.

The commitment has been confirmed in the Conservative Party’s manifesto, published today, which specifically references cross-Solent ferries.

The review will look at “all options” to promote greater competition and drive down fares to provide a fairer service for Islanders.

READ MORE: Red Funnel reveals plans for three more ferries for Isle of Wight services

The manifesto said: "Recognising the current challenges with cross-Solent transport, we will establish a review to explore all options to provide more choice and drive down fares.”

Bob Seely, Conservative MP candidate for Isle of Wight West, said he welcomed the commitment.

Just last week, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he is "baffled" a solution hadn't been found to challenges of ferry travel between the Isle of Wight and the mainland.

In a statement, Sir Keir said a Labour Government would ask the Competition and Markets Authority to look at intervening with Red Funnel and Wightlink.

He said: "Labour is committed to finding a solution to the issues with Wightlink and Red Funnel.

"Labour would ask the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to look at the situation, and whether intervention is needed." 

The CMA is a non-ministerial Government body tasked with strengthening competition in business.

Services between Southampton and the Isle of Wight have been beset by issues in recent months.

In March, it was revealed eight Red Funnel directors had resigned as part of a plan to replace the operator's “ageing vehicle ferries”.

In what Red Funnel describes as a ‘review’ of its board structures and memberships, some of its directors resigned on February 28.

A spokesperson told the Echo's sister paper, the Isle of Wight County Press, the change was in support of its “fleet replacement programme”.

“Red Funnel, like most companies, periodically reviews its board structures and memberships, and the recent change is in support of our fleet replacement programme," they said.

At the time, Red Funnel said it had no timeline for replacing the ferries.