THE Sandbanks Ferry remains out of action, and has been now – apart from two days – for the past three months.

Calls have already been made for a public inquiry into the debacle, which is hitting businesses on both sides of the crossing hard and affecting commuters daily.

Ferry bosses remain unable to provide any concrete date for the ferry's return.

The only information being given to customers, from ferry operator Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Company, is on its website.

As of this morning, this explains: "We are still working on getting the ferry back into service, we hope this will be very soon but at the moment do not have a definite date for this."

The company says it has been advised not to publish technical details of problems they have encountered "due to potentially prejudicing claims."

Meanwhile, the ferry has been photographed making the Poole Harbour entrance crossing, which ferry workers say is part of the ongoing tests to get the vessel back into service.

A hydraulic leak on December 21, which happened just two days into service following a seven-week refit, left the ferry out of action.

It has not operated for the public since then.

Studland Parish Council chairman Cllr Nick Boulter has called for a public enquiry, while Purbeck District Council – and Swanage Chamber of Trade chairman – Cllr Caroline Finch has asked for the issue to be debated at the next full PDC meeting.