The Isle of Wight is separated from the UK mainland by the Solent, a tidal strait of about 25 miles in length, varying between 1-4 miles in width.
Two companies run vehicle ferry services, with Red Funnel running the East-Cowes to Southampton route and Wightlink running services from Fishbourne to Portsmouth and Yarmouth to Lymington.
There are also foot-passenger services, with a Red Funnel catamaran route from Cowes to Southampton, a Wightlink catamaran service from Ryde Pier to Portsmouth Harbour station. Hovertravel run a foot passenger hovercraft from Ryde seafront to Southsea Parade.
These services are the Isle of Wight’s lifeline, but in many respects they are also the hand around its throat.
Good transport links are essential to ensuring a positive economic outlook for any location. With Wightlink and Red Funnel owned by private equity firms there is no incentive for them to satisfy anything but their shareholders.
The only way to break the hold the ferry companies have on the IOW is a fixed link. Multiple options need to be considered and the effect on the residents, organisations and businesses need to be reviewed before any construction is initiated.
A fixed link to the Isle of Wight does not present any unique technical challenges. The income and maintenance costs of a link need to be examined. The effect of a fixed link on the economy and social conditions of the Isle of Wight need to be reviewed and potential positive and potential negative effects need to be objectively understood and publicised.
All contributions will be gratefully received.
2017 – Carl Feeney has asked that it is made very clear that this website has nothing to do with him. It doesn’t, since he proposed a motion to remove me from the Pro-Link association committee. This was body I spent quite an amount of time creating the constitution for, to ensure it was formed in a transparent accountable way. Carl removed me from a ‘committee’ of four people, because Carl Feeney didn’t think more people needed to be involved in a committee (I did and was struggling to get him to promote the association, or grow the committee).
Whilst it is my absolute heart’s desire for the Isle of Wight to have a fixed link, but it is my opinion that a campaign which has Carl Feeney at the centre of it is (sadly for the Isle of Wight) unlikely to be successful.
Despite this, I wish him and the members of the Facebook from which he blocked me all the very best in their continued chat about a cross-Solent fixed link.
Oh and finally – please stop asking me to take the website down. It’s not yours, it’s mine, you can’t control its presence, the information was valid at the time of being put on here and continuing to whine about its presence is just distracting you from promoting yourself. Or a cross-Solent fixed link.