POOLE’S new £50million ferry suffered engine problems resulting in four hour delays on Monday – just days after returning to service following repair work.

Passengers on Condor Liberation faced the long wait for the journeys between Poole, Guernsey and Jersey after being told its engine would have to operate ‘under reduced power’.

It was originally scheduled to depart from Poole at 2pm and arrive in Guernsey at 4pm. However, it did not leave until 4pm, arrived after 8pm in Guernsey and passengers travelling on to Jersey did not reach their destination until after 10pm.

Alicia Andrews, Condor’s executive director for commercial operations, confirmed the 102-metre-long trimaran had been delayed following the problems.

Speaking on Tuesday, she said: “Our engineers have been working hard alongside the MTU team [the engine manufacturer] through the night in Poole and this morning have resolved the engine problems affecting Condor Liberation.

“This has had a very slight knock-on effect to today’s sailing which will depart Poole approximately half an hour later than scheduled. As part of our normal engineering checks and run up after a repair, the engine will be monitored closely after leaving Poole Harbour.”

This latest setback comes after the high-speed ferry, which can reach 35 knots and has a capacity for nearly 900 passengers and 245 cars, was damaged on March 28 after landing heavily against fenders as it docked at Guernsey. That incident, which happened less than 24 hours after its maiden voyage, was blamed on high winds with the vessel sustaining buckled side panelling. It was put out of action for a week while repairs were undertaken.

Following the delays on Monday, angry passengers took to social media to vent their frustration. Among them was Chris Britton, from Gloucester, who said: “We chose an afternoon sailing as we have a toddler. We got in after 10pm. Awful.”