Wightlink has announced plans to shorten the length of time drivers can wait at Ryde Pier head for free – when picking up or dropping off passengers.

The news follows the ferry operator’s announcement of plans to replace the Pier’s three current ticket machines with four new ones. Each machine will now take payment by card, as well as cash.

From Tuesday 26 June, those planning to collect or drop off family or friends at the FastCat will only have 20 minutes to do so for free. The current length of time cars are allowed to stay without paying is one hour.

Drivers will still have to pay the £1 tool charge to access the Pier.

Wightlink says this change will be made to facilitate more parking spaces for vehicles at the end of the Pier. However, parking on the Pier will remain free for motorcycles and bikes.

An Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera will also be put in place. It is hoped the new system will help to improve car parking efficiency.

Wightlink says customers will be able to register with RingGo and use a mobile phone app to make cashless payments for up to three days parking.