Fixed Link Debate: Party members hear arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’

Labour Party members heard the arguments for and against a Fixed Link from speakers from the pro and anti campaigns at their meeting last week.

Solent Tunnel

Thanks to Ed for sharing this latest news from the IW Labour Party. Ed


Labour Party members heard the arguments for and against a Solent Tunnel Fixed Link from speakers from the pro and anti campaigns at their meeting last week.

For
Chris Dodd, Secretary of the Pro-Link Campaign Association, set out the details for a link that should provide a £10 each way fare for cars and £60-100 for HGVs and produce considerable benefits for the Island economy and wage levels.

Against
David Henshall, who has been involved in Anti-Fixed Link campaigns, talked about the loss of jobs on the ferries, the likelihood of a merger of services with Hampshire, the effect on house prices and the danger of losing our Island uniqueness.

Results of straw poll
Ed Gouge, Island Labour Secretary said,

“Any decision on a Fixed Link will in the end be taken by Islanders but, given the cost and unreliability of the ferries, it is important that the issues are aired. A straw poll at the meeting gave a narrow majority against a fixed road link.

“Local party policy has been for a rail link and we want to see public control of the ferries. National policy is to bring rail franchises back into public ownership.”

Image: © Robert Forrest

Monday, 30th November, 2015 12:42pm

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Filed under: Ferry, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Roads, Top story, Travel

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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187 Comments on "Fixed Link Debate: Party members hear arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’"

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Tim

In what way is a rail link any better than the ferries? eg infrequent or absent services during the night and over used and N/A at short notice during peak periods such as bank holiday weekends.

Perhaps the island Labour Party is content with the high levels of child poverty and benefit dependency on the island, which I suppose means the likelihood of more votes for them.

dave

A rail link would not suffice – it has to be a road

Richard

Mr Feeney
And can you absouloutly gurantee that the uniqueness of this beautiful Island will not be spolt?

I'll Get Flamed
Richard – my personal view is that the uniqueness of this beautiful Island would be enhanced. Why? Firstly, we would remain in control. A FL would not change planning regulations so the current controls on what gets built would remain in place. Secondly, the Island’s economy would improve significantly allowing investment in better facilities / infrastructure. As it stands, the Island is rapidly becoming financially unsustainable. The… Read more »
Caconym

Personally, I think a bridge would enhance it. Look what huge tourist attractions and landmarks bridges around the the world are:

The Golden Gate, Millau Viaduct, Oresund Bridge, Bosphorus Bridge, Akashi Kaikyo.

A great bridge is a work of art AND engineering. Far from being put off by it, people would come to see it.

Steve Wright
I for one, can see not a single downside to a Fixed Link. The argument that it won’t be an Island anymore is total “Popycock” to put it mildly. You can bet your bottom dollar that Portsmouth City Council would be glad to see the back of Wightlinks Gunwharf terminal…..any problems, and there are many, the traffic in the area soon turns to gridlock, strangling the City.… Read more »
mandrake
Well, Steve Wright, there is potentially at least one downside, although it barely gets a mention on these comment threads. The Isle of Wight is one of the last strongholds in Southern England of the endangered native red squirrel, along with Brownsea Island and, now, Tresco in the Scilly Isles. It is entirely grey squirrel-free over here. The only likely reason it has remained so has been… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed
I’m afraid this argument is out of date. The grey squirrel population has been eradicated from Anglesey and the red squirrels are now thriving – in fact there are some reports that they have crossed the Menai Strait in the other direction and are re-populating northern Wales. Environmental and wildlife arguments are a very valid consideration. The situation in Angelesy does however prove that the red squirrel… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed
mandrake
IGF. Thanks for the link. I am aware of the current situation in Anglesey and its success with re-establishing the red squirrel population there. However, they were dealing with circumstances where the native species had already crashed in numbers, and the complete eradication of the greys was deemed to be only way to reverse the situation. Ideally, though, problems should be prevented before they’re allowed to start.… Read more »
ThomasC

Why are grey squirrels more likely to come to the IW through a 5km tunnel with regular traffic, rather than swim or float across a narrower, far more natural river?

Why are there not rabid foxes patrolling Kent?

neilpalmer400

Exactly. The same wildlife control procedures used in the Channel Tunnel to keep out rabies would also keep out grey squirrels.

Cicero
I could be persuaded about the benefits of a fixed link IF AND ONLY IF it were to be built and operated by the State and not private investment. Mr Feeney tells us that “best guesses at toll prices would be £20 return for cars and £120-£200 return for HGVs. Yet also he also tells us “The actual amount set for when the tunnel is completed will… Read more »
neilpalmer400
The government should learn from the experience of the bridge to Skye, where the Scottish government was forced to buy back the bridge and cancel the tolls. It would have been cheaper if they financed it in the first place instead of getting private finance involved. Some might say tell that to those paying tolls to drive over the Bristol Channel to Wales, but that would be… Read more »
Sam Page

A fixed link is not wanted by the majority of the island or mainland. Thomas Cowley is totally deluded and unaware that many people wouldn’t ask his opinion on the weather let alone something which needs professional intelligence.

I'll Get Flamed

So another example of an unnecessary personal attack …. the hallmark of the NO Campaign.

Terry Hicks

Why do we need to vote?This is surely a planning decision.Is there an island vote on whether to mend the roads?No of course not.
The island is in need of a future to look forward to and a fixed link will go a long way to giving us a foundation to build on.

Clive Boorman

Any decision on a fixed link is far more likely to be taken by bankers than Islanders. The one thing perennially missing from the pro link arguement is a detailed and properly costed proposition that incudes the cost of land and infrastructure as well as build cost, a definitive explanation of funding sources and the returns necessary to finance them.

ThomasC

That would need a proper feasibility study to be completed, although such costs have been provided months ago, using standard build costs from UK government sources.

Have a look here:

http://solentfixedlink.net/east-cowes-to-lee-on-the-solent-link-costs/#more-54

Mason Watch

The irrelevant listening to a debate on the unachievable…….

Tim

A fixed link is both highly relevant and achievable, the link to Skye has been a huge success and the same applies here

Robert Jones

Congratulations. Both rude, and stupid. Quite an achievement on your part. Around 40 people were there. None was “irrelevant”. I tend to agree that a fixed link is unachievable, but members were prepared to listen to those prepared to give their time to address the subject – whereas you? You just enjoy insulting people.

Geoff Lumley

And insulting them anonymously. Very brave……

ThomasC

40 people there – what was the actual outcome of the vote?

Caconym

Of course its achievable.

By modern standards it wouldn’t even be particularly ground-breaking with respect to its length or construction.

Carl Feeney
As Pro-Link chairman I was not at the Labour Party meeting…I have no allgience to any political party, therefore not invited to attend. Chris Dodd who did represent Pro-Link gave a “best guess” toll amount when asked. The actual amount set for when the tunnel is completed will be assessed as a fair revenue yield for any private funder and that amount would be fairly index linked… Read more »
dave butchers

your figure of 4,500 per day is an under estimation

ThomasC

Actually it’s an average, based on the Car Equivalent Units carried by the ferries, from their own websites.

Any guidance on why it’s an under-estimation would be most useful.

mark smith
No body has answered the question how is this link is going to be made. I as the fixed link people say dig a trench across the Solent and place sections and infill. But the Solent sea bed is protected, so that’s out. So the Tunnel will have to be bored out opps costs go up. The fixed link wont happen, Wightlink has started the right way… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed
Do you really expect to have detailed plans at such an early stage of the project? We repeatedly hear those opposed to a FL attacking the feasibility of the project, rather than explaining why they don’t want a FL. If you don’t believe it is feasible then you have nothing to fear. All major projects require many phases of development. At this stage we really should be… Read more »
Alan
Carl. I’ve been reading all the comments over the last couple of days and, in one of them, a bridge was mentioned. All talk so far has been about a tunnel and my question to you is:- Has a bridge been considered by yourselves as an alternative to a tunnel and, if so, has it been discounted. It is a genuine question, I have not read any… Read more »
Lynne Charles

The fixed link has got to happen, tourism Is the life blood of the Island. The high cost of travelling to the Island Will break its back.

BRIAN

As per my previous comment. Rhyl, Southport,Morcambe,Blackpool,Skegness, Scarborough et al require no ferries and look at the state they are in. The reason tourism is down on the Island is partly due to the ferries, partly due to the cost of a week’s stay, but mainly due to the fact people simply choose to go elsewhere.

ThomasC

Why not mention Bournemouth and Brighton which are doing very well?

Why only mention northern towns which are much further away from the affluent South East?

Old Knobby
It’s about time we had a new life blood then. Once upon a time we used to build large ships in Cowes and had many highly skilled professional engineering jobs. Surely these are the sort of jobs we want, not more minimum wage, zero hours contract, seasonal tourism related-ones? Interestingly, when we had a large engineering workforce, we also had a much more limited ferry service, so… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed
I fully agree that we should be looking to re-build our industry and engineering skills base. The Island has always been more than just a “tourist island”. However, to do that we need to accept that the world has moved on. 50 years ago ships and aircraft were built entirely in a single location. Nowadays components are built in different locations and then brought together for assembly… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed
Hermit

All fixed link stories, for or against, mean nothing without a mainland local authority or town council agreeing and stating where it will join the mainland, or indeed where it is agreed it will start this side. Until I see these 2 basic essentials made public and approved it will never happen.

ThomasC
Until the best route is confirmed then no local authorities can be involved. This won’t happen until a proper, up to date feasibility study is completed with central government, or LEP money. As a portal is a relatively small thing it’s location is not likely to be hugely contentious, especially where there have been recent significant increases in road capacity on the mainland side. It is a… Read more »
S fisher
To answer David Henshalls concerns , all island services are already reduced and cost cut to the limit, so wouldn’t a merger with Hampshire services be a better thing, quicker and easier access to specialist hospitals, the ability to bring Police and Fire services on demand. 1. The loss of jobs at the ferries as suggested although just speculation, would be offset against the construction and operation… Read more »
Caconym

Well said!

Vix Lowthion

I’m pleased to see that the Labour Party policy is now for public ownership of our railways and ferries. In the general election campaign it was not, and they argued with me that it wasn’t feasible. This seems to be a rather recent change in policy.

Geoff Lumley

All Labour policy is under review now we have a socialist leader. Policies aren’t fixed in stone. Any arguments you had certainly weren’t with this Labour member or indeed most local Labour members. Public ownership is entirely feasible and indeed preferable.

Caconym

Socialist, yes. I’ve not seen much evidence of leadership, though.

Stewart Blackmore
How you can say that after having stood beside me during hustings fairly takes the prize for sheer chutzpah, Vix. Throughout the campaign I called for the railway franchises to revert to public ownership at the end of the franchise period. At no time did I argue that it wasn’t feasible – indeed it was Michael Dugher’s (the then Shadow Transport Secretary)stated policy, specifically saying: A Labour… Read more »
Diogenese's Barrel

Couldn’t resist the opportunity to do what fixed-linkers persist in doing throughout “On the Wight” and similarly hijack this item by wishing everyone a Happy Advent and a Holy Christmas!

John

Festive greetings to you. May I ask how you will be getting your goose delivered this year. Will it be via ferry or fixed link. Maybe you could have it flown in! Now there’s an alternative to the fixed link / ferry dilemma.

Fred Karno
It’s a great shame that no one seems to understand railways and blithely show a “Rail Link” on these kind of project drawings as though it’s something simple to do. The fact is, it isn’t. You can’t run the Island trains on mainland lines, nor can you run mainland stock on the Island. The Island railways were built for light Victorian tank engines and short carriages and… Read more »
Marie
The idea of a Fixed Link is not a new one. There are obvious benefits but risks are also present. Can there be a guarantee it’ll be cheaper than the Ferries? The Hospital would almost certainly downgrade based on the NHS Report from 2000 entitled Health Fit. Traffic would be a real concern along with the potential loss of the car ferries. Any serious incident, break down… Read more »
Richard
As someone has already said. If one more method of getting on and off the Island is to be the golden goose ( at vast expense ) then why haven’t the many other much more deprived areas in the country not thought to do the same ( at a vastly less expense ). We are an Island , it always has been, live for the Island, not… Read more »
ThomasC
Most locations have had a lot of investment in their transport links. The Island hasn’t and has paid a heavy price in terms of high unemployment and myriad other social problems that those opposing a link are keen to sweep under the carpet. Good transport links are the bedrock of any economy which is one of the key reasons the Island’s economy is failing in comparison to… Read more »
tiki
It took me 35 minutes to get home from East Cowes to Newport tonight. Will a fixed link provide us with new roads to accommodate the extra volumes of traffic? If so, where will these new roads go? Them we have the traffic nightmare of Coppins Bride… Staplers . Anyway surely there will be more than ONE model on the table if this is ever going to… Read more »
Don Smith

tiki’s –

They gave us a link across the R.Ichen. Remember all the protests? Prices did not plummet – They closed down the old prehistoric floating bridge.

Ferries would remain, but they [Ferry] companies would not have the monopoly, as is the case now.

Progress to prosper!

Richard

ThomasC
By your argument there should not be any deprived areas in the country..

I'll Get Flamed

I am pleased that one of the mainstream parties is at least willing to listen to the debate. I hope the other parties will follow suit and ultimately that the Isle of Wight Council will start discussing this issue.

Carl Feeney
To answer a few of the questions ….. Two duel carriageway tunnels prevents any cut off of transport from the mainland to the island or vice a versa because if there was a problem in one tunnel, the other tunnel becomes contraflow instead of a dual carriage way which can be done extremely quickly within 20 minutes to half an hour. The problem of traffic piling up… Read more »
Richard

So again I ask, if one more method of getting in and out of somewhere will make all those positive to an areas economy!!..then let’s do it for every area in the country in a similar position.

Sorry very naive, and a very expensive solution

I'll Get Flamed
… or perhaps you are over generalising! There are many factors that impact an area’s economy ranging from climate to unique features to attractions to accessibility, etc, etc. For the Island our biggest issue is the barrier that prevents easy transport to and from London and South East … the wealthiest part of the country! The two nearest coastal resorts to the Isle of Wight are Bournemouth… Read more »
ThomasC

What areas of England are in a similar position?

Richard

IGF
And people will always choose to live on the Island for that same barrier ..

I'll Get Flamed
Not everyone chose to live here – many were born here, have family and friends who were born here and want to continue living here. Are you suggesting that their opportunity for a more prosperous Island should be denied because some people choose to move here? The best way to protect the Island’s economy and its independence (in terms of local services) is to ensure the Island… Read more »
Benbo

Choosing to live here, and choosing to move here are different things.

In the longer term the economy and living standards would be improved from a lack of dependence of tourism. Diversifying and generating other industries.

Matt blacklock

So what will we be called once this happens, Wight????? Link of wight??? Tunnel wight??? , use to be an isle of wight??? Get FRACKING we can then just get towed across!!!!

I'll Get Flamed

Let’s think – how about “The Isle of Wight”!

A tunnel does not stop an island being an island.

Is that seriously the best argument you can come up with against a FL?

dave

Matt blacklock’s comment is infantile and typical of some of the people who may be asked to vote.

Caconym

Oh, you mean how Hayling Island is now no longer called Hayling Island because it has a fixed link?

Oh wait…..

ThomasC

Yeah but what about the Isle of Skye no longer being called the Isle of Skye since they got a fixed link?

Oh wait….

Richard

IGF
And how about all the people who live here happily ( both overners and caulkheads ) without a fixed link and who have no wish to have one should have their happiness put at risk by haveing one?

I'll Get Flamed
For the record, I live here very happily without a FL ….. and I can see massive benefits for the Island if a FL was built. If the majority of Islanders did not want a FL, then I personally would accept that. It saddens me to hear the arrogance when people claim they know what the silent majority want. I’d like to see independent research (perhaps by… Read more »
Caconym

“It saddens me to hear the arrogance when people claim they know what the silent majority want.”

^^^^^ This ^^^^^

Richard

IGF
Because if you can tell people that to be happier they need a fixed link, then surely I can say if the Island is not for you without a fixed link then maybe you should move to be happy..has to go both ways

I'll Get Flamed
You’ve just proved my point – the old “if you don’t like it move” argument. It’s sad that you even think that is a valid argument. I have family on both sides of the Solent so moving will not alleviate my need to cross the Solent. As professional people, my wife and I contribute to the Island (both professionally and economically). We are also active in many… Read more »
Caconym

The “if you don’t like it, move” argument is the best thing those opposed to a fixed link can keep saying.

It paints them in an entirely bad light.

Caconym

NO. IGF is saying he would like a fixed link. YOU are entitled to say you don’t want one.

Telling people who would like a fixed link (myself included) to move away from their birthplace, home and family is just arrogant and rude.

Don Smith

Why do anti FL continue to tell people who support a FL to move? That’s not democracy, it’s bullying.
A FL be it a tunnel, bridge or whatever. It must improve things for all islanders.

Those who want to block progress do not have to use the FL – Just carry on with the outdated, rip-off, time wasting ferries.

Richard

I don’t claim any right to tell you to move
Same as you don’t have any right to say the Island will be a better place with a FL and I would be happier

Caconym

NO. People who wish to have a fixed link have EVERY right to espouse how it would benefit the IW.

You have every right to espouse how it would harm the IW.

You do NOT have the right to claim their right to free speech is less than yours.

ThomasC

But virtually all of the socio-economic indicators point to the fact that the IW is currently significantly lagging behind the surrounding area.

The only thing that differentiates us is having the high cost and inconvenience of ferries to travel across the Solent.

For a lot of people regulated, standardised prices of crossing and 24/7 access have the potential to make them wealthier and happier, especially if it reduced unemployment.

Richard

DS
I’m not blocking progress,
And is not bullying to tell me I need a fixed link?
And I will continue to use the ferries, I enjoy the experience ( and get some great deals )

I'll Get Flamed
There is a clear difference between debating a proposal that would have a significant impact on the life of the Island and telling people that if they don’t like the status quo they should move. We have the right to argue the case for a FL. You have the right to argue agains a FL. I respect your view point and, as you will see above, I… Read more »
Richard

IGF

And you also cross a line when you tell me how to be happy, I live for the island, not just on it.

I'll Get Flamed

Where did I “tell you how to be happy”?

I have argued that I believe the Island will be a more prosperous place with a FL. That is no different to arguing any point of view on any political subject.

Please explain where I told you “how to be happy”!

Steve

What’s Pro-Links official position as Thomas C says a referendum isn’t required or wanted…?

I'll Get Flamed
I can’t speak for Pro-Link …. these are my own views. I would like some form of poll / study / research to understand what Islanders really want. That would stop a vocal minority claiming they speak for the silent majority. Arguments against a full referendum are that it would be expensive and not legally binding. I can see the argument against a full blown referendum –… Read more »
Stece

Sorry, you can’t speak for an organisation you chair?

That seems a bit strange does it not? Is their division in the camp?

The No Campaign may not accept the result but same could be said of Pro-Link couldn’t it?

Fact is this is not a new idea and forgive me if I’m wrong I’ve seen nothing from either side to suggest it’s happening anytime soon.

I'll Get Flamed

I do not chair Pro-Link and am not a member of the Pro-Link team.

I am just an ordinary Island Resident who believes that a FL would be of huge benefit to the Island.

ThomasC

It’s not that a referendum isn’t wanted, it’s that it wouldn’t yield a binding result and thus be a waste of about £150k to run it.

We have a way of deciding whether infrastructure projects should go ahead – it’s the planning process.

Richard

IGF

I live on the Island, therefore your views ( in this case for a fixed link ) on anything Island related may effect my happiness of living here.

I'll Get Flamed

… along with roughly 150,000 other people – which is why everyone’s views are valid and everyone is entitled to express those views without bullying and intimidation. It’s called democracy!

Richard

The Isle of Scilly is where I would go if God forbid a fixed link is ever built here.
No need to lock up your house, car, bike and never any likelihood of becoming part of the rat race, an Island which will always due to its uniqueness attract those who wish to holiday within the UK and yet fieel like they have gone abroad.

dave

Goodbye Richard!

Caconym

Goodbye.

You won’t find a car of much use there, by the way, and the return foot passenger fare to the mainland is £90.

If you DO want to take you car it has to be transported as freight and craned on and off.

neilpalmer400

Richard,

Don’t forget to consider the Isle Of Man. Lovely place.

Steve Wright
So, OK…..I’ll put my life on dead stop, continue to struggle to run my business on both sides of the Solent, my in-laws can continue to barely survive in their tourism related business….just in case a Grey Squirrel may, in the extremely unlikely event, penetrate the IW’s defences by scurrying along a 3 or so mile tunnel? Give me strength…and a shovel to start digging. As regards… Read more »
Vix Lowthion
” If a Fixed Link from the Mainland to the IW charged £35, people would simply not bother….they would then be forced to drop the cost.” In the same way that our expense ferries are being forced to drop the cost? Oh. Hang on…. People do have a choice to use the Severn Crossing or to drive around the long way. We would have little choice but… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed

The Severn Crossing is regulated by Government legislation – this ensures that prices are capped and that the bridge will pass back into public ownership.

Why would such an approach not be acceptable for the IoW?

Right now, the ferries are unregulated – there is no cap on prices – their costs are increasing – there is no end in sight.

Cicero

Not quite true IGF! The investors in the Severn Bridge agreement are salami-slicing their way (with govt agreement) to extend their ownership to the mid 2020s. Further, the government has announced that tolls will are not likely to fall if the bridge returned to public ownership dur to the high cost of maintenance and operation.

ThomasC

Whether or not the franchise for the Severn Bridge is extended is not terribly significant, as the tolls ARE regulated!

IGF’s point was that the tolls are regulated – entirely true!

Caconym

Errm. I certainly would bother at £35, even each way. Cheaper than most ferry crossings and FAR more convenient.

neilpalmer400

A ferry would have to remain for vehicles transporting dangerous goods that would be prohibited in the tunnel, so there would still be a choice, though no doubt not as many sailings.

Cicero

“Name me one UK toll which charges a similar amount, for the same distance that the ferries do.”

Oresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark?

Cicero

…. and that is government owned and operated not private investors!

dave

Don’t know what school you went to but when I last checked Sweden and Denmark were not part of the UK.

I'll Get Flamed

…. and last time you quoted the Osmerund Bridge I checked the figures and found that it was cheaper than the ferries! I detailed my findings together with the reference link,

Cicero
Quite right Dave- I realised my mistake after I hit the send key. However, I would be grateful to learn where there is a comparative fixed link in the UK with the same or longer span over/under open water as the proposed Solent FL. Current Oresund tolls are 22 euros per single trip, thus return trip would be 44 euros or £31 at today’s exchange rate. Today’s… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed
Cicero I have just returned on WL and my ticket was not £35 … it was £42.50 for a day return. For a period return the ticket price would have increased. If I had a bicycle rack mounted on my car (extending it’s length 1 cm over 5m) the price would have increased. The price you quote for Oresund is up to 6m. If I had needed… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed

Those interested in the Oresund prices can find them here and form their own opinion =>
https://www.oresundsbron.com/en/prices

Caconym
You do realise that the Oresund “bridge” is both a 5 mile bridge AND a 2.5 mile tunnel, don’t you? It cost nearly £3 Billion, three times the projected cost of the IW link. Commuters pay a €35 (£25) annual fee, then €22 (£15.50) for between 1 and 16 crossings per month, then (€5 (£3.50) per crossing for between 17 and 50 crossings per month. A typical… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed

…. and the Oresund Bridge is actually considered a Tourist Attraction! Many tourist web sites recommend that people drive over it.

Caconym

“Oresund Bridge is actually considered a Tourist Attraction!”

This is the main reason I would prefer a bridge to a tunnel. People actually make an effort to see the Oresund bridge, Millau Viaduct, etc, and the Golden Gate Bridge is practically a national monument in the US.

There is something about a these structures that inspires people. Engineering, architecture and art, all in one structure.

Half-n-Half

Oresund is a bridge that links with tunnel half way across.

Cicero
Thanks IGF and Suruk for your considered analyses however perhaps you are missing my point that I have repeated ad nauseam (not least to myself) that the salient question is one of the source of the funding- State or PFI? If the latter, IMHO investors like those who own the ferries -Balfour Beatty, Prudential and Macquarie (as was)- would maintain their strange-hold on the Island. (Just a… Read more »
Richad
SW Those areas you mention are identified as being areas of outstanding natural beauty or of scientific interest, therefore are protected. Yes there are similar areas on the Island, but not enough to protect this Island being spoiilt by your golden goose ( unless you can 100% gurantee this? ) If you feel that your life is on hold because you don’t have a fixed link, well… Read more »
Snapper

Message to the fixed link enthusiasts: Be careful what you wish for.

ThomasC

Why?

I think we’re all being very careful in campaigning for a fixed link!

Richard

ThomasC

You really need to ask that question?

I want gurantee’s …not just careful!!

I'll Get Flamed
It would be surprising if people weren’t nervous – it would be a major change and should therefore be approached in the right way. I am clearly a strong believer in the proposal, however I would still like us to establish what the majority want and it is imperative that there is a proper and detailed feasibility study / impact assessment. That is the only way we… Read more »
ThomasC
I really do need to ask that question. I am being very careful in choosing to spend my time campaigning to deliver a positive and transformational project for the whole IW population. How else would I need to be careful, (which is a slightly sinister and threatening turn of phrase to use) aside from those against a fixed link trying to sabotage businesses I’m involved with out… Read more »
Richard
STS I have just been critized ( and rightly so ) for telling people to move if they don’t like living on the Island. Your ” goodbye ” is it a little bit similar do you not think? I hope I don’t have to leave this Ialand, but I will if it’s spoilt. I’m well aware of the costs of getting off and on the Isles of… Read more »
Caconym
How is my friendly goodbye similar to you telling people to go away? You have decided yourself that you will move to Scilly if a link is built. Nobody told you “if you don’t like it, MOVE”. By the way, have you considered what the people of Scilly will think about you moving there? You don’t want your Island Idyll disrupted by hoards of link-borne visitors. Perhaps… Read more »
Michael Cox
From 2 retired people .one born bred on island,and one born in gloucestershire.We love the island ,and we wish to remain as it is.WE DO NOT WANT ANY LINK.Put a link in,you will lose all the tourist economy .You will lose the peacefulness of the back of the island.You will lose the great countryside.You will lose the hospitals,all NHS hospital will be on mainland.Everything that tourists and… Read more »
Caconym
This is the same muddled argument that the anti-link faction always spout. A fixed link will ruin the peaceful idyll of the IW AND put of tourists? How does that work, then? Either you want peace and quiet (i.e fewer visitors) or you want the IW to have a successful tourist industry. You can’t have it both ways. And how do you reconcile the charge for the… Read more »
dave
More unfounded arguments from somebody who obviously wants to see the IOW die. Tourism is already close to death, due in no small part to the high cost of getting here. How can you possibly “lose the countryside”? How do you know what the charge will be? How do you know St Mary’s hospital will close? You are typical of people who retire to the island and… Read more »
ThomasC
Michael Cox – where will our countryside go? Why will we lose all of the tourism? Why have we lost 300,000 annual visitors over the last five years if having ferries only is a good thing? You sound very scared of change, why is that and why don’t you mind the steady collapse of the Island, as that is happening now and is a terrible change that… Read more »
D.s

A lot of people keep saying that a fixed link will stop the island being an island. This confuses me a lot.

Caconym
The anti-link protesters use a lot of emotive arguments. They hope that people will vote with their hearts rather than with their heads. They make lurid claims about the harm a fixed link will cause to the IW, but can never back those claims up when pressed. The way they continually say a fixed link will both put off visitors AND flood the IW with traffic just… Read more »
davimel
Can I just use a simple argument I have posted here before… To ALL you Nay Sayers, Would any one of you travel to a town and then HAVE to pay between £35 and £75 to drive into it? This is what tourists face coming here, and why numbers have fallen and a few attractions along with it. If you would then might I suggest that we… Read more »
Richard
Can I ask again, I want a 100% gurantee that your golden goose will not ruin this lovely Island, not just careful. If people are emotive about this subject that proves they care, what is wrong with that? I also have a daughter who is in Universty, and a son on the way, if they come back they do, if they don’t they don’t, it’s been this… Read more »
ThomasC

Can you give a 100% guarantee that without a fixed link the steady and comprehensive decline of the IW will not continue?

Logical objective arguments suggest you cannot.

What other credible options do you have to bring about a recovery? The uniqueness of the IW is being lost year in, year out by a decline into poverty and dereliction.

Why would you want to preserve the unique poverty and dereliction?

Caconym

I think what you mean is you want a “100% gurantee” that a fixed link will not ruin your perception of this lovely island for you.

There can be no such guarantee. Like any major change what it should do is ensure that it improves the lives of the majority. I, personally, believe it will.

Richard
StS As regards your comments on my possibility going to the Scilly Isles. Unlike the pro fixed link brigade who try and tell people on the Island they need a fixed link to be happier, I will move there knowing full well the disadvantages of living on an Island, I will not be telling them how they could be happier or moan about how expensive it is… Read more »
Caconym
Read what I have posted. Nowhere have I said that you will be happier with a fixed link. In a nutshell, I believe a FL will improve the prosperity of the IW and its residents. Feel free to agree or disagree with that sentiment. Instead of playing the “I’m being bullied” card, try to provide concrete examples of how a fixed link will make your quality of… Read more »
Richard
STS As someone who lives here, your views, as our mine, and any outcome from those views will have an impact on our happiness of living here. What I will say is I am happy here without a fixed link, yourselfs..I’m not sure about. Can I ask again can you give me a 100% gurantee that your golden goose will deliver all positives and no negatives? I… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed
Asking a question that is impossible to answer (nobody can predict the future) is not really a sensible approach to debate. What we can do is provide evidence and I am surprised that you say you have only seen ‘speculation’. When told that “nobody wants a FL” we provide details of the only available polls / e-petitions on the subject – not conclusive but strong evidence. When… Read more »
Caconym
Your views are only valid if you can back them up. As IGF demonstrated, the pro-link lobby has consistently provided detailed evidence of why the FL will be beneficial to the IW, and why the anti-link scaremongering is just that, scaremongering. If you want to be taken seriously, back up your statements with, if not facts, then with some well thought out reasoning. You say that a… Read more »
Richard

I have my back up, the Island has been an Island for a very long time, it’s still here..it hasn’t died..a very big piece of evidence do you not think?
Can I ask all the negative issues you go on about because we don’t have your golden goose…Are they unique to the Isle of Wight?

Caconym

Yes, it has been an island since about 12,000 years ago.

And that pushes your argument forward how, exactly? Explain WHY having a fixed link will “ruin this lovely Island”. Those were your own words. Back them up with some reasoning.

Richard

You mention the future.

Have either of you thought that maybe people will be thanking our generation for not taking the risk, and keeping our uniqueness, are beautiful country side and way of life?
Or is it only about how much happier it would make you right now

I'll Get Flamed
I have repeatedly said that I would only support a FL if it had majority support. I have repeatedly said that I would only support a FL following an independent feasibility / impact assessment. At which point in any of your arguments have you acknowledged that you would accept the views of the majority? At which point have you considered the positives or directly answered any of… Read more »
Caconym
Personally do believe a FL would benefit the island, but agree that it has to be what the majority want and will accept it if that is not the will of the people. The comparative attitudes of pro and anti fixed link advocates are quite revealing, don’t you think. Most pro-link advocates put forward logical reasoning and are willing to accept the majority decision. Most anti-link advocates… Read more »
Richard
When I have ever said I wouldn’t except the majority view? I’ve said it before, looks like I need to say it again, I’m emotive because I care, why is this wrong? Again neither of you have answered my question, so again I need to repeat myself, are the issues you say ecause we don’t have your golden goose unique to the Island? The fact that it… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed
You have never said you would accept the majority view! We have previously answered your questions and will do so again. The LEP report referenced above clearly identifies the Solent as a barrier to the Island’s economy and skills. The same report shows that tourism is in decline. A recent discussion forum on the Meridian TV Facebook page attracted hundreds of comments by tourists who said that… Read more »
Richard
Wow where do I start with this one? HS2 is making the journey time between two biggest cities in the uk, shorter, hardly comparable to this debate. Brighton and Bournemouth are booming because the price of living and buying a house in London is way out of even the biggest earners in the city, and this area that is becoming unaccesable ( unless you are amongst the… Read more »
ThomasC
Why is a ‘commuter rat race’ (which is a nonsensical term) so much less preferable to a deprived area beset with unemployment and poverty? A fixed link might raise house prices, but what would be more significant is closing the gap on incomes in Hampshire vs IW, which is a current net loss of £500m to the IW economy per year and reducing unempolyment with better links… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed

Perhaps Richard you could explain your vision for the future of the Island? Do you want the economy to improve or do you believe that happiness lies in economic decline?

Time for you to be positive and tell us what you believe will improve the quality of life for Islanders?

Richard
So you admit house prices will go up, and we will become part of the rat race, two things the pro fixed brigade have always said wouldn’t happen, well it’s a start with you guys. And yes it is much more preferable to plenty of people who wish to have houses remaining affordable and who wish for a quieter life. Are we in any more of a… Read more »
Caconym

[Shakes head slowly and sadly]

ThomasC
No, I said a link *might* raise house prices. We already have a property market with extreme peaks anyway. It will take a long time for the deprived wards represented by Geoff Lumley to be dragged up from their current position to ‘unaffordable’…. and they will only become ‘unaffordable’ if the IW is doing exceptionally well economically. How is it a better situation for people to be… Read more »
Richard
All you have to say StS You have argued yourself out of the argument. You have admitted that house prices will go up by saying we should be more like Brighton and Bournemouth, what good is it that youngsters remain here because there may be more work at comparable mainland rates, but then they can’t afford to buy a house here. You say that we should not… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed

….. except STS didn’t say any of those things?

Do you actually read what other people post?

Caconym

Yeah, whatever you say.

phil008
Personally, and this is purely my view, the only fixed link i would like would be a tunnel for the train only, going under the sea bed from ryde esplanade to fratton. With newer stock for islandline, the same stock could work the tunnel. Charging 60 -100 pounds for lorries etc , is that each way? that seems excessive, but then i dont know how much a… Read more »
ThomasC
Why are you worried about crime, Phil? Why do you think criminals will pay for the privilege of coming to a lower paying, higher unemployment area, where they will be checked in and out by ANPR, so their movements can be checked afterwards? Why would a rail link make more sense? Why must we be bound by a timetable? Where would that leave freight, which will suffer… Read more »
Richard

Sorry am I missing something here, it’s your position that you wish for the Island to become more like Brighton / Bournemouth?
If this is the case then house prices will increase, or can you with certainty ( why I have always asked for a 100% gurantee that your golden goose will not alter our way of life here ) predict they will not.

ThomasC

Our way of life on the IW degrades every year.

You can 100% this that and the other all you like – by doing nothing you are comdemning people to poverty.

WHy do you want to see people locked in to lives of poverty and low opportunity on the IW, often unable to move off because they can’t afford a house on the mainland?