Sandbanks Ferry toll to increase for vehicles

The cost of a trip on the Sandbanks Ferry is to go up for all passenger and goods vehicles although the toll won’t increase for those on foot, bike or motorbike.

The company that operates the Sandbanks Ferry between Studland and Sandbanks in Dorset has announced that the increases for vehicles will take effect from Saturday 1st April 2023.

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The tolls are going up for vehicles

Discounts are available for bulk buying

The price for a car or small van will rise from £5.00 to £5.20 for each crossing, while a coach for more than 16 passengers or a truck will go up from £10.00 to £10.40.

Discounts are available for bulk buying a number of crossings in advance. While paper tickets are no longer available to buy for vehicle crossings, drivers can get a plastic pass called a Sandbanks Ferry Toll Card which offers a discount on each crossing.

The cost of the bulk purchase for vehicles is also increasing from Saturday 1st April 2023 but can be avoided by buying in advance before that date, although there is an expiry date. Up to two cards can be issued per account allowing the bulk discount to be shared.

Toll increase from 00:01 Saturday 1st April 2023

  • Pedestrian Current toll £1. From April £1
  • Pedal or motorcycle Current toll £1. From April £1
  • Passenger vehicle up to 16 people (cars) Current toll £5. From April £5.20
  • Passenger vehicle more than 16 people (coaches) Current toll £10. From April £10.40
  • Goods vehicle up to 3,500kgs (small van) Current toll £5. From April £5.20
  • Goods vehicle 3,500 to 20,000kgs (trucks) Current toll £10. From April £10.40
Sandbanks ferry

Public inquiry allowed incremental vehicle toll increases

The toll increase decision is in line with the ruling by the public inquiry in 2021 on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT) that concluded the ferry could increase the toll incrementally for vehicles up to 2031 but the cost for foot passengers, cycles and motorcycles must be kept at £1.

At the inquiry, the ferry company had argued for toll increases to be set on an annual basis in line with inflation, however the inspector decided on a fixed price scheme which allowed the ferry company to incrementally increase the toll for cars up to £6.75 by 2031 and good vehicles up to £13.50 by 2031.

While the decision at the time was unpopular with some residents, during a period of low inflation, it now means in a time of high inflation, the cost to drivers has been effectively capped.

“We appreciate the support from our customers”

Jason du Toit, Managing Director of the Sandbanks Ferry Company, said:

“We are limited to the increases set out by the DfT and approved by them.

“We appreciate the support from our customers and continue to offer discounts on bulk purchases of vehicle passes for holders of Sandbanks Ferry Toll Cards. We continue to offer books of paper tickets for pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles.”

Further information

  • More about the Sandbanks Ferry toll is on its website

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