£4,000+ donated to Isle of Wight fixed link ‘viability study’ appeal (updated)

Pro-link campaigners say they have exhausted all other options of funding the viability study to build a fixed link tunnel to the mainland. They’re now asking members of the public to contribute to a £130,000 fundraising appeal.

solent freedom tunnel

Those behind the Solent Freedom Tunnel campaign, Pro-Link, have launched an appeal to raise £130,000 for a ‘viability study’ on a fixed link between the Isle of Wight and the mainland.

New entry and exit points of the proposed tunnel were announced just under two weeks ago, and since the funding appeal was launched five days ago, around £4,000 has been paid into the ‘Pro-link Community bank account’.

What’s in the viability study?
Should the total funds be raised, London-based global engineering company, ARUP, will be conducting the study on behalf of Able Communications (who is this?).

ARUP say the study will seek to address the following questions:

  1. Are there any obvious technical, engineering, design or planning issues that would make the project impossible to build?
  2. What is the reasonable cost envelope for the project based on evidence from comparable schemes?
  3. What are the anticipated high level economic benefits, both transport and wide potential benefits including social benefits?
  4. What sort of revenues might the project generate based on existing Island trip data today?
  5. How far might the project revenues go towards paying for the scheme and therefore what scale of funding gap might exist?
  6. Are there contractors and investors in the market who would be able to finance and deliver the project?
  7. What possible procurement methods could be used?

Full details can be found on the Solent Tunnel Website.

Funded by the public
Pro-Link say they have exhausted all other avenues of funding such as, the Isle of Wight Council, Red Funnel ferry company, via Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely, as well as the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce.

How to donate to the study funds
Pro-link have chosen to not use the traditional third-party Crowdfunding platform, but instead ask donors to pay money directly into the ‘Pro-Link Community account’.

They say that once the complete £130,000 is received (minus the £1,873 already in the account), stage payments to ARUP will first be transferred from the ‘Pro-Link Community account’ to ‘Able Connections Ltd’, which will be the official client of ‘ARUP’.

A daily screen grab of the bank account balance will be posted to the Public Facebook Group – IoW Fixed Link Tunnel Campaign.

Full details of the crowdfunding campaign can be found on the Solent Tunnel Website.

Update
3.10.2018 – A Go Fund Me page has now been set up to collect donations for those who prefer not to pay directly into the Pro-Link Community bank account.

Image: © Solent Freedom Tunnel

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018 10:42am

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129 Comments on "£4,000+ donated to Isle of Wight fixed link ‘viability study’ appeal (updated)"

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block8

I wonder why so many pro link supporters find in necessary to be rude and aggressive.

I have seen it myself before and others have commented elsewhere.

There are two classic examples on this page already, “Spewing up drivel” and “can’t read or understand English.”

Why the need?

asmo

Just stating facts. If you’re asking questions which are answered in the news article then you clearly need to go back and read before commenting. As for aggression, I can show you the transcripts from my reports to Police about the threats of violence and disgusting verbal abuse directed toward myself and my family.
The anti-side have absolutely no logical or reasonable debating points to put forth.

block8

I have several reasonable and logical debating points and so do many others – as well you know.

But I’ll wait to read the contents of the feasibility study. That surely must be the intention of the whole exercise.

Let’s check back in 2025 to see how things are going.

asmo

Put your money where your mouth is and voice these arguments against then.
The empty platitude of ”Keep the island an island” carries no weight. The ferry companies can not and will not be regulated.
I’m waiting to hear the alternative solution from anti’s because leaving things as they are is clearly not an option.

greatergood

And who will regulate the fixed link seeing as the proposed two thirds of financing is private sector?

asmo

Toll roads are already subject to central government legislation and regulation. The Freedom Tunnel will be no different.

Recca

Fixed links are classed as infrastructure and regulated by the government!

rick70

Railways are private companies and regulated.

peterj

We shouldn’t have to wait that long as buried in their pitch is ‘The cut off point to raise the funds will be 31st January 2019’.

peterj
As I said there was no mention of the new funds on their own site and this was before they had updated their GoFundMe page. The £4,000 was awfully close to the amount they had raised from the initial funding appeal started in 2016, so I made an assumption. It turned out to be incorrect, but most people would see it as understandable given the incomplete information… Read more »
asmo
I have yet to see a ”rational debate” from an ”anti” You can say I am rude all you like but when someone doesn’t read and interpret the information before them correctly, they lack comprehension. By your own volition you admit you made this mistake. hence my comment was not an insult but a truth. Once again I have the Police transcripts which prove the threats of… Read more »
greatergood
Asmo – Police transcripts don’t mean a thing they could just reflect your version of events, did they get prosecuted? If so please post details of convictions. As regards to negativity towards a fixed link just one initial point is gridlocking, one thing the ferries provide (if it’s a plus!) is breathing space between sailings for some routes to briefly clear, what happens when queues extend into… Read more »
asmo
The reason for our lack of infrastructure is precisely because we are not connected to a trunk road and thus do not have trunk road status. You may remember the Council once tried to gain this status for our dual carriageway? The fact we never had this granted is half the reason our Highways are now managed by a private, for profit, company. A tunnel will grant… Read more »
rick70

It’s not easier to manage if there is 3 or 6 or 9 times the amount of cars here.
And before you come out with as many cars will be leaving as arriving, where is the evidence of this?

asmo

If you want evidence of cars leaving and going then perhaps you should Google the numerous studies that have been undertaken over the years.

Better still, why don’t you anti’s get together and actually organise a study yourselves since you have contributed absolutely nothing thus far.

rick70

Why don’t you do the hard work and prove the point that as many cars will leave as arrive. Look forward to reading your evidence on this post soon.
I don’t need to do anything, you have to convince me.
I’m happy here,and again I don’t need to organise anything.

Recca

Where’s your evidence of that amount of vehicles coming here?? Won’t any be leaving in the other direction then? 🙄

greatergood

But the government has de-trunked much of the trunk road network since the late 1990s, transferring responsibility to local councils to allow Highways England to concentrate on a selection of core trunk routes, mostly dual carriageways and motorways.

asmo

lessergood … Fair point but it doesn’t detract from my previous comment in any way. We will become connected to a Trunk Road via the Tunnel. Hence the issue you raised is a moot point.

greatergood

You mean we might don’t you? we will infers it’s going to happen which at this stage it clearly isn’t!
Like the feasibility of a tunnel is a moot point.
You may change my username as much as you like if it makes you feel better about yourself!

asmo

I don’t need to prosecute anyone. I just need the evidence behind me to justify my reaction if any of these people have the stones to try and follow through on said threats.

greatergood
I can actually see why people have threatened you in the past, I do not in any way condone it, tbh it goes straight over my head but you are big on threats yourself too though. I personally don’t feel you are adding anything to the pro-link cause, if you are involved in one of the set up entities associated with it then god help them! If… Read more »
asmo
Losing your temper now. Absolutely laughable. I never made any threat to anybody. You are completely wrong in your spurious allegations. These messages stand testimony to the kind of abuse and ridicule that people who care about the future of our Island and it’s transport links have to face. The difference is I will not be cowed by people like you and it gets right under your… Read more »
Recca

Pure scaremongering…. the grid lock in Wootton is caused by the ferries letting hundreds of cars off in about 5mins… that won’t happen with the link as it will be a continuous flow in BOTH directions

greatergood
Really? Evidence please? Oh sorry there won’t be any evidence of that as its a guess, or is it? No you could be right Kevin, anyone coming over on the as yet (or ever) Solent gridlock tunnel will be returning as soon as they realise they are going to be stuck in more traffic after they have queued to get in the tunnel on the mainland side!… Read more »
asmo

We wont need the EU once we stop giving them £10 and only getting £1 back.
They money is already available in the governments £100Bil infrastructure budget too.
All we need is an MP who isn’t in the pocket of the Ferry companies.

rick70

And the evidence of the MP is where ?
It’s these conspiracy theories that are lauded in the pro link group which helps them in no way what so ever.
Make these conspiracy theories public in newspapers, tv , radio and then prepare to back them up when the accusations of slander come back at you, otherwise just leave them out.

asmo

It’s not a conspiracy theory when it’s true. It’s ok for Bob since he gets free travel. Hmmm… I wonder if he gets that because he has relatives on the board? You should do some research there mucker.

asmo

Apparently I’m not allowed to reply any more because of a fascist moderator shutting down free speech.

asmo

Well done On The Wight… you’ll let me say that but you won’t let me post the evidence of the corruption I alluded too.

greatergood
Sally and Simon are quite fair and well broached on the legality of posts. The trick is to not take it personally, if you do have the evidence then go public with it, if it’s true you have a civic duty to. In my experience the pro-link brigade are all about secrecy or wait and see semantics. I get free travel and I’m not corrupted, it’s just… Read more »
asmo

It’s not slander or conspiracy when it’s true. You ever ask yourself how he gets free travel? Because it sure as hell isn’t paid for on his public expenditure records? I’d call that accepting a gift for political favour.

rick70

I think OTW has just proved my point.
Unless the pro link group have legit, stand up in court evidence for these conspiracy theories, they will never see the light of day in any media outlet.

asmo

Again I’m a private individual. I have no affiliation with Pro-Link. I do however support their cause as it aligns with my own.

greatergood

I bet they are glad, the last person they need on their team is someone as brash as you.
Could I ask why you support their cause?
What are your reasons?
How will it enhance your life?
Be the bigger person, grant us some latitude and make a grownup statement!

asmo

It’s not about how it will enhance my life. That’s the problem you anti’s have. You just think about yourselves and how it effects you. Selfish thinking. My reasons are for the betterment of the entire populace of this Island.

How much longer are people like you going to flippantly ignore some of the highest rates of unemployment and suicide in the country?

greatergood

If you were worried about “the entire populace” of our Island then we are all included in that statement.
A tunnel may well make our figures better, it could also make it worse.
Some of the worst areas don’t have the problem of whether or not they need a tunnel either.
We need a better economic model UK wide not just here on the Island!

Recca

You don’t have a clue what you are on about… over £10,000 has been raised in about a week! All the donations are accounted for as it’s a non profit campaign 😉

rick70

Never going to happen.
If this amount cannot be found to fund the visibility study, how on earth are the going to find £3 billion plus to build it?
If it was as viable as some would say, this low amount would of been funded by a company keen to get on with building the tunnel to start making money.

asmo

The £3 Billion. That’s simple, our MP just needs to ask for a cut of the £100 Billion infrastructure budget that has already been allocated for such things by central government.
A company will not publicly come forward until they see the idea as being more politically viable.

peterj

It really isn’t that simple. The OECD produced a report 3 years ago which showed how the UK has underspent on infrastructure compared to it’s peers for decades, so much if not all of that money will be spent on improving existing networks (everything from roads, rail, energy, ports, waterways and even digital).

asmo

Except, they are using it to build new projects such as HS2.
The OECD report stated that we needed to ”build” more infrastructure.

rick70

If it was politically viable a government would of done it by now.

asmo

Absolute claptrap. We just need an MP who supports the idea rather than one who has a stake in keeping the ferry companies in profit.

rick70

I’m no lover of Bob Marley, but if you want to make comments like this, you have to back them up with real evidence which will stand up to cross examination , why has Carl Feeney not made any of this evidence he supposedly has public?
Probably because it’s all supposition swallowed by his followers,but would not stand up in a court of law.

rick70

Bob Seeley*
I like Bob Marley lol

greatergood

Lol Rick, now that was a funny comment!

asmo

I already tried to post the evidence. Before having to contact the editor of OTW about the fact that my posts were being moderated. I know the game you’re playing because it’s pretty obvious who is reporting my profile and trying to makes strikes against it when you have only ever commented on this one page.

greatergood
No I can categorically say I only comment on what I want to, I have commented many times before and been moderated myself too. Don’t be so paranoid about it, I actually don’t want you to be stopped from commenting as you were just starting to show your true colours, me? I’ve always been this argumentative, especially when I feel emotive about wasting precious time and public… Read more »
rick70

I’m not playing any games, I think the point has very emphatically been proved by OTW.

greatergood

Just found Carl Feeney’s comment OTW March 2017: “The feasibility study is coming….. it’s like a train with the brakes off… it’s happening…”

And 18 months or so later it seems the brakes are so far off that it has missed us completely!

asmo
Sure, got that Sally. Now could you tell me which one of these rules I am supposed to have broken please? I have not intentionally done so at any point but I will respond when certain people troll every single post I have made but are incapable of offering any solutions or amicable debating points. I never accused you of being a fascist moderator either because I… Read more »
grumpymoo
And so it’s another loaded, not truly independent survey? (I appreciate that this isn’t the actual survey, but a quote from them) Point 3 raised by ARUP ; What are the anticipated high level economic benefits, both transport and wide potential benefits including social benefits? How about addressing both sides, maybe there will be no economic or social benefits! Urgh….. Now, I’m all for a study to… Read more »
Colin

And when the £130,000 isn’t raised, the money goes…? where?

Colin

Ok, just for a minute let’s pretend that a fixed link is constructed. There have been calculations made about the interest on the investment of £3 billion plus the running costs of any construction, so that it would be possible to calculate the neccesary charges per use of the fixed link. Anyone like to say what this would be on the current proposed costings?

Colin

Ok, let’s pretend that a fixed link has been constructed and that it needs to raise £x to repay the debt and running costs. What happens if there is insufficient revenue?

Colin
Ok, yet again. Do you think that if a fixed link were to be constructed that the existing ferry companies are going to stand by idly and let some fixed link company wipe them out? I think not. It wouldn’t take much effort for a short price war to put the fixed link out of business by undercutting their prices. Yes some would use the fixed link… Read more »
asmo

How are they going to put a tunnel out of business? Brick it up?

Colin
Good morning asmo. It is good to see someone with passion argueing the case for a fixed link. But it is also important to look at possible scenarios and assess the risks to the project. If I thought the project was viable I would support it, but there is so much financially against it that it will not happen. The important thing about any project is to… Read more »
asmo
But the tunnel would still be there. They wouldn’t be able to close it. The ferries can try undercutting all they like. When they lose tens of millions of £’s worth of profits each year they will be forced to change. I used to work for one of them. I know how they think. They are terrified of the prospect of people on this Island having freedom… Read more »
Colin
Good morning asmo. The tunnel would be collecting toll money and is therefore a commercial enterprise which would need to service the debt of build costs and cover the operating costs. It doesn’t matter one jot that it is “there”; if there is insufficient revenue it will be bankrupt. And that is why it will never be built using commercial money. The only possibility would be using… Read more »
asmo
Uumm… Leaving the EU has nothing to do with the £100 Billion of UK money which was set aside for infrastructure projects. You’re either sorely mistaken or intentionally telling abject lies now. The Tunnel is the asset which could be sold and such a project would easily make good margins. I have freedom of choice you are correct. Freedom to live on this Island where my ancestors… Read more »
block8

Do you have a word for unelected people who seek to impose their will against the wishes of others?

Just asking.

greatergood

Umm…..
Bullies?

greatergood
Hi asmo, just a quick question on your latest comment, did you actually mean to write presided or did you mean resided? Before you shout me down from your high altitude position, the addition of one letter gives your statement a whole different meaning. I can’t see in the thread where anyone asked you to leave the Island either, I agree with that statement though, it is… Read more »
tr2015

No need to brick it up. Just read the regular reports of poor driving and you can forecast any tunnel will be blocked by crashes. Oh, and when it is blocked, how do you manage the stationary traffic behind?

Colin

When the IWC has installed traffic lights at St. Mary’s roundabout, the traffic queues will strech back to the M27…they already stretch back past the proposed tunnel exit. How about a small starter project such as a tunnel under Coppins Bridge or the Medina? lol

block8
I was thinking much the same. I notice that the Hindhead tunnel does not allow stationary traffic inside, (health and safety/emergency vehicles access) so in the event of an incident traffic is held at the entrance. That will be fun. Luckily there is a detour around Hindhead – not so on the solent. There is chaos in and around the M27 this morning with an hours delay.… Read more »
rick70
For leg who asked where is the evidence of so many cars arriving, I think over 2 million people visited the island last year, let’s say half of them will use the fixed link, so over million additional cars will be here, we only have a population of 140,000, of which not all are car owners, so you do the math. You can also make it half… Read more »
rick70

Replace leg with Kev..

greatergood
Just to be clear on this point I have a real issue with the use of the “viability study” term, many pro link statements previous to this mention a “feasibility study” So which is it? Clearly on this important issue it should be termed correctly? My reasons for this question detailed below: The viability study is a subset of the feasibility study. It concerns the concept of… Read more »
greatergood

Not entirely sure why but the latest SFT study account screengrab shows a date that is in the future (Mon 8th October) does this imply that it could possibly fake?
My online account never projects a date in the future it shows the account as it stands on the day!
Can anyone else confirm this is a Barclays specific thing or could it be false?

peterj
This appeal for study funds was not really launched 5 days ago – but two and a half years ago, when that GoFundMe page was created – so at best this is a re-launch for that appeal. In those 30 months, they have raised a grand total of £3,300 via GoFundMe – almost half of which came from 2 donors. The article appears to state that these… Read more »
peterj
Launched 5 days ago?? £4,000 paid into account since launch??? From their own ‘Solent Freedom Tunnel’ (ugh) web site:- The financial history of the campaign. Pro-Link has banked with Barclays at St James Square in Newport, from right at the start of the campaign. The ‘Pro-Link Community Bank account’ was set up on the 23rd March 2015 and since that date, a total of £3,791.16 has been… Read more »
elliott

I have received a couple of thumbs down, but these people are unable to put an actual good argument against my comments! Ironic really because as I said before, ‘scared of change’ Clearly ignorant to the social and economic issues on the Isle of Wight.

elliott
On Thursday 25th October I drive an hour to board the 10 am Yarmouth to Lymington Ferry only to be told that it had broken down, and they could not get us on another one that day. They rebooked us for the following day 26th October, so we drove an hour there again only to be told that the boat had been taken off again! and they… Read more »
golfer29
Good to see an article that has no pro or anti axe to grind, just giving YOU the chance to have a look, read and maybe decide. As to the comments that are being made about rudeness and aggression, the points that are being made are quite legitimate. If you read all that is available, drivel and rubbish will never raise their ugly heads. Look at both… Read more »
elliott
There are more reasons to vote in favour of a fixed link than not; especially given the fact that the Island is one of the poorest areas in the country, I simply cannot understand why anyone would argue against this campaign, it really would open up so many doors not just economically but socially as well. Including access to better health care. Who wouldn’t want any of… Read more »
Dalek

Perhaps the people who don’t want it are those who fear the inevitable increases in pollution, traffic and crime that a fixed link will bring. Not to mention the staggering potential increases in house prices that will prevent young people from even getting near purchasing a house here. In any case, the response to the fundraiser has been lacklustre at best. People are voting with their wallets.

elliott

Come on do just give me a thumbs down do a counter argument and one that is based on fact rather than narrow minded opinion. Trouble is it is hard to vote against something that will benefit the Isle of Wight socially and economically.

greatergood

Elliott, How can you know it will?

Recca
Why do people comment when they don’t have a clue what they are on about?? A pro-link bank account was set up years ago, for donations to pay for advertising etc… but the able connections bank account and donations were only released a few days ago, & yes there has been over £4000 donated in a few days, of which 1 business gave £1000, as they are… Read more »
greatergood
Good luck with it, you’ll need it. I think it may well go the same way as the initial gofundme account SFT started, good take up initially then once their friends and family have donated it will plateau followed by flatline! Why is it they always play “the majority of islanders want it” card as well where is the Island wide poll on this? Limiting the demographic… Read more »
greatergood

Just a quick side note Mr treasurer (kevprice75) there is no mention of the ecological impacts listed as part of the feasibility study brief, will they be included in the study or not?

rick70

And the evidence of as many cars leaving the island as arriving is where?

asmo

That’s the point of the feasibility study. Anti’s don’t seem to realise that the study could actually prove the concept is not viable. Once the study is complete there will be something tangible to debate about rather than just peoples ideas which at present can’t be 100% proven or dis-proven.

grumpymoo
I don’t think that the Anti’s are against a study? Just that it MUST be independent. I think one of the biggest issues for the Anti’s is ecological impact, something that is completely glossed over according to the quote from ARUP in the article. It doesn’t help that when any questions are asked to the PRO side, it’s met with belittling and name calling. It’s quite ridiculous,… Read more »
asmo
The ecological impact will be nominal. A tunnel underground hurts nothing unless there’s some kind of Artesian aquifer or other natural geological structure that we didn’t know about. The bored rock could be used for flood defences around the Island. We may lose a field or two but no one is talking about mass deforestation. As the years progress we are moving away from petrol engine cars… Read more »
greatergood
Do you already know the geological structure of the proposed route? Bearing in mind the nature of most of the geology evident on and under the Island and the fact that erosion and land movement is already an issue. Flora and fauna can also be tricky to predict, Whippingham proposed route is a fairly diverse mix of green site with woodlands and natural meadows, there are a… Read more »
asmo

Yes I do already have an understanding the geological structure thank you. I have an A-level to prove it too. Which is why i know for a fact that the construction is entirely possible.

peterj

Yes absolutely – but the study has to positivity reek with the unpolluted air of impartibility.

Surely you can see why a feasibility study funded by a biased private limited company and created by another already-chosen private company is bound to be questioned, whatever it’s findings?

asmo

So who in your opinion would be able to carry out such an ”impartial study” ?

asmo
It’s clear some of the people commenting on this story are either incapable of reading and comprehending English. Or are intentionally spreading mis-information and lies. This study should be funded by central government, the fact that it isn’t shows the corruption that is rife in our council as they try to block the will of the people of this Island. With all recent polls showing 70% in… Read more »
asmo

A lot of you anti’s giving it the thumbs down but I notice you have nothing to say. I’ll happily debate any one of you but if you don’t present me with tangible, logical or fact based arguments. Then I’ll shut you down in a heartbeat.

doughnut

asmo, just pick from any one of the following stock phrases:It’ll never happen, never in my lifetime, we won’t be an Island, We’ll be gridlocked, ooo hang on a minute they appear to unevidenced opinions. Have the objectors gone quiet?

greatergood

That’s libel right there too asmo!
I suggest you be careful too!

asmo

I think you need to stop throwing your toys out of the pram now mate. You’re embarrassing yourself.

greatergood
Lol just a couple of points: 1- I am definitely not your mate. 2- I have no toys left as the bully boy stole them all. Rational response from yourself? I think not. Me? I’m not embarrassed at all, and FYI bullies don’t intimidate me at all. Back on topic I shall enquire tomorrow whether the council are interested in your statement about them being corrupt, if… Read more »
asmo

Wow… you really are emotionally upset by my comments aren’t you. HAHA.
”…I’m not your mate…”’ you’re just being pathetic now.
I am a private individual with no affiliation so I’ll say whatever the hell I like.

greatergood
It would take more than you to make me emotional or upset! Lol You must be private as you in public would be a nightmare! But still I wish to thank you, your actions have done the pro-link argument sooooo much good! A suggestion would be get back on topic now or risk being ostracised from the argument! The figures of finance options are not feasible, I… Read more »
asmo
Umm you were the one who took it off topic and started being a fool. You have to spend your money in the right place for long term prosperity. How many more years are people like you going to keep putting a plaster on the gaping wound instead of treating the cause? And you don’t get to state the rules on whether or not I’m helping or… Read more »
greatergood

Another claim of skewed poll figures, until you poll the whole island and the affected mainland areas your 70% figures quoted don’t mean a thing, it’s not just Island centric is it?
Pop – another bubble has burst!