THE public inquiry into proposed increases to the Sandbanks Ferry toll will begin this morning.

Led by an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for transport, Chris Grayling, the inquiry was organised after concerns were raised about the ferry operator’s, Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Company, plans.

It submitted an application to the Department for Transport earlier this year to increase the charges for passenger and cycles from £1 to £2; cars from £4.30 to £6; and lorries and buses from £8.60 to £12.

Members of Purbeck District Council voted unanimously against the proposal saying that it would only benefit the company and have a detrimental affect on residents and the economy.

The inquiry, which will be held at Studland Village Hall, starts at 10am today and is due to continue again tomorrow.

Ferry services have been blighted in recent weeks by mechanical issues.