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.”

***Ends***

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.

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