THERE'S no intention for the Isle of Wight Council to subsidise Wightlink to provide later FastCat sailings, a senior councillor has said.

Cllr Phil Jordan, the local authority's transport boss, has ruled out council help, but didn't say whether he thought using government money was a good idea.

This came after Cllr Richard Quigley suggested the government could help subsidise the later crossings.

He suggested: "If the Minister were to provide the money via the council, should the crossing prove popular, Wightlink and the council could share the profit. "

Cllr Jordan said: "There is no intention for the Isle of Wight Council to subsidise the ferry operator to provide late night services.

"I appreciate the creative thinking however, and trust that government and Wightlink are able to respond positively with an improved service offer for Island residents."

Cllr Quigley had outlined his idea for helping Wightlink bring back the later sailings - as the last sailing back to the Island from Portsmouth to Ryde Pier is currently 8.20pm.

The matter has recently hit the headlines again, when journalist Harriet Hadfield started a petition to bring back the later sailings.

It quickly gained momentum, and currently has been signed by 5,300 people.

Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield responded to the petition by outlining reasons why Wightlink wasn't providing later FastCat sailings.

Island MP Bob Seely has also called for extra sailings, and told the House of Commons there should be minimum levels set, to ensure frequent and reliable services across The Solent.