Press Release – Pro-Link discuss Wightlink issues and Solent LEP Questionnaire

For immediate release

Newport, Isle of Wight 31st July 2015 – Pro-Link Campaign Association urges Isle of Wight businesses to review the questionnaire around a Transport Investment Plan for the region, issued by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (SLEP) and available to be completed until 14th August 2015.

The SLEP is a body central to the devolved government agenda being pursued by Central Government. It is responsible for deciding infrastructure investment priorities for the Solent area, including the Isle of Wight and is developing a Transport Investment Plan to make the case to inform future funding investments aimed at improving connectivity in the Solent

The publication of the questionnaire is particularly timely in light of another collapse of critical equipment on the Wightlink Portsmouth – Fishbourne route. The collapse of the linkspan at the Portsmouth terminal comes just after the anniversary of the mezzanine deck on the St Helen on 19th July 2014.

Pro-Link Chairman, Carl Feeney stated ‘this latest debacle could not come at a worse time. At the peak holiday season Isle of Wight tourism businesses need absolutely reliable connectivity options to ensure trade is able to flow into the Isle of Wight. Wightlink have once again proven that the ferry companies are unable to provide that reliable link. A cross-Solent fixed link would provide that link and eliminate the traffic chaos happening in Portsmouth city centre and Wootton and Binstead today. Island businesses need to get behind this survey to ensure that the needs of the Isle of Wight are not overlooked in favour of the more affluent areas of the region.”

The survey can be completed at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SolentLEP

Pro-Link urge Island businesses to make it clear that a fixed link has to be an infrastructure priority for government spending.

Mr Feeney concludes “the last National Infrastructure Plan, issued in December 2014 did not include a single mention of the Isle of Wight. Island businesses need to use this golden opportunity to push the subject of a cross-Solent fixed link to the top of the infrastructure agenda for the Solent region, as soon as possible.”

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The UK Government National Infrastructure Plan can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-infrastructure-plan-2014

More information about the SLEP can be found at:

http://solentlep.org.uk/

Photo courtesy of Steve Wright

About Pro-Link Campaign Association

Pro-Link was formed in March 2015, with the object of campaigning for a fixed link across the Solent. It has a voluntary management committee of six Island residents who are helping secure a brighter, more connected future for the Isle of Wight.

Pro-Link confirm visit by global tunnelling experts

Newport, Isle of Wight 23rd April 2015 – Pro-Link Campaign Association is pleased to confirm a visit by representatives of the Dutch business Tunnel Engineering Consultants (TEC). World renowned experts confirmed again that a fixed link across the Solent is technically feasible. Timescales and likely costs for such a project were also confirmed.

Continue reading Pro-Link confirm visit by global tunnelling experts

1998 Fixed Link Feasibility Study released to public 25-03-2015

For immediate release

Newport, Isle of Wight 25th March 2015 – Pro-Link Campaign Association is pleased to announce that after three months of work the 1998 Fixed Link Feasibility Study is now available copyright-free for anyone to download at:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ifz63tfga1xwtpc/1998FeasibilityStudySLR.pdf?dl=0

The study was completed by a private company, which was partly funded by public money: Wight Training and Enterprise Limited. When this company was dissolved in 2005, the rights to the study transferred to The Crown. When this happens, the Crown is then entitled to either charge to release the copyright of items such as this, or disclaim their interest, making the document copyright-free and available for public release.

The letter disclaiming their interest can be viewed at:

http://solentfixedlink.net/TreasurySolicitorsOfficeLetter.pdf

In 1998, this comprehensive preliminary study cost £100,000. Wight Training and Enterprise never made it available to the public, but thankfully a copy was entered into the IW Council Record Office. 17 years later, after reviewing the document, Pro-Link has now managed to secure this release, so the carefully researched information can contribute to a better-informed, objective debate, to understand the opportunities and complex implications of a fixed link across the Solent.

Naturally, the data in this report is now 17 years old, so doesn’t model the impact of the 20% above inflation prices rises in ferry fares since 1998, or changes in construction costs, techniques and the impact of advances in technology.

A new report must be commissioned to consider the current circumstances, which is the next step in unlocking the benefits of a fixed link across the Solent for residents, businesses and visitors to the Isle of Wight.

The study is NOW available to review in its entirety on solentfixedlink.net

Web: http://solentfixedlink.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/iowfixedlink/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProLinkIOW

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Pro-Link Campaign Association Formed 18-03-2015

For immediate release

Newport, Isle of Wight – Pro-Link Campaign Association is pleased to confirm the formation of a not-for-profit association on 18th March 2015. The association has been formed according to best practice processes, to raise funds with two objectives:

  • To campaign for a road-based fixed link from the Isle of Wight to the UK Mainland, with an option to include a light railway/tram line function.
  • To ensure fair charges and terms of use are provided in any FL Operating Contract

A bank account and PayPal account have been set up so donations can be accepted. The details of these are:

Barclays Bank, St James Square, Newport
Sort Code 20-60-55
Account 73023761

PayPal address for donations is donations@solentfixedlink.net

The members of the group will continue the work of campaigning, further invigorated by the formation of this new official body to help us gain the most effective voice. The work done so far has helped many people to understand the benefits a fixed link could bring to the Isle of Wight.

An example of just one benefit is ensuring the Isle of Wight workforce has greater choice leading to wages similar to those on the other side of the Solent. This alone could deliver up to an additional £640 million per year benefit to the Isle of Wight economy.

We have also been working to secure the public release of the comprehensive 1998 feasibility study. This was completed by Isle of Wight Training and Enterprise Council. A copy is held at the County Record Office. It contains much useful information that is still valid and can help drive the discussion forward in an objective and well-informed manner.

The committee members of the association are:
Carl Feeney – Chair
Chris Dodd – Secretary
Thomas Cowley – Treasurer
Linda Bassett
Rob Forrest
Kevin Price

Web: http://solentfixedlink.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/iowfixedlink/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProLinkIOW

Contact
Thomas Cowley  thomascowley@solentfixedlink.net
Carl Feeney  carlfeeney@solentfixedlink.net

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