SANDBANKS Ferry bosses say they have paid almost £50,000 extra to get the vessel back into service as quickly as possible.

The ferry is currently out of action after developing a mechanical fault earlier this year.

It was initially withdrawn from service on July 12, but owners say its not expected to be back in operation until the end of October as it needs a specialist part which has been ordered from Sweden.

In a statement released on the ferry's website, a spokesperson said: "We are doing everything in our power to return the ferry to normal service as soon as we can.

"The replacement component needed was ordered as quickly as possible from the approved manufacturer in Sweden, where we paid an additional £46,000 to reduce the stated 24-week lead time by more than half.

"Once we have received delivery of the hydraulic coupling, we will be working around the clock to carry out the repairs.

"Following this, the ferry will be tested in the Southampton ship repair facility and then towed back to Dorset as soon as possible depending on sea conditions for final testing and checks to ensure it is fully operational prior to returning to service."