This latest news in from the council, Ed
An infrastructure transport task force for the Isle of Wight is to be launched this week, to focus on a wide range of connectivity, integration, regeneration and funding issues vital to the Island’s future.
The first meeting of the task force will be held tomorrow (Wednesday 20 July) to consider its vision, objectives and terms of reference.
£20,000 funding from SLEP
The creation of the new task force follows the securing of funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (SLEP) and Department for Transport (DfT), amounting to £20,000.
The Isle of Wight Council worked with the Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, and the SLEP to access the funding – following a resolution by Full Council late in 2014 to welcome the Minister of State for Transport’s support for a task force to “consider how the Island could plan and develop a multi-modal transport system that is secure, accessible and affordable and which underpins the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the whole community”.
The establishment of the task force was delayed following the Department for Transport announcement affecting the future of Island Line and the subsequent consultation and reports on this issue.
Led by Christopher Garnett
The new infrastructure task force will be independently led by Mr Christopher Garnett, a former chairman of the Transport Co-ordinating Committee for the Rugby World Cup 2015, a board member of the Olympic Delivery Authority, the chairman and executive director of Great North Eastern Railways for ten years and a board member for Transport for London for six years.
Mr Garnett has offered his services free of charge, to act independently, seek out and collate the views of stakeholders, and discuss with government the infrastructure needs of the Island.
The task force will meet with stakeholders representing a cross-section of local business, tourism and transport and other key related interests.
Mr Garnett said:
“I am delighted that we have been able to assemble such a dedicated team of Islanders who are giving their time to help see how transport infrastructure can develop and improve the Island’s economy.
“We would be pleased to hear from anyone else who would also wish to contribute to the discussions and to the work of the task force.”
Island MP Andrew Turner, said:
“I am very pleased that the task force has been established; it was highlighted as a positive way forward during a debate I called in October 2014. The Island’s economy certainly needs investment in transport infrastructure and there is public money available to invest. However, in order to access those funds a strategic approach and plan is vital, this represents an important step in putting that into place.”
Isle of Wight Council leader, Councillor Jonathan Bacon, said:
“The availability of SLEP and DfT funding has made possible the establishment of this key task force, which it is hoped will play a major role in developing and improving the vital transport infrastructure issues affecting the Island and its future economic wellbeing.
“We are at a very early launch stage for the task force and once its vision, objectives and terms of reference have been finalised we will be able to give more detail on its key areas of focus. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the task force for contributing their time and experience to such an important issue for the Island.”
The members of the task force are:
- Christopher Garnett (chairman),
- Maureen Pullen (Department for Transport),
- Stuart Baker (Local Enterprise Partnership),
- Andrew Wilson (Solent Transport),
- Phil Marshall (Solent Transport),
- Simon Dabell (Visit Isle of Wight),
- Geoff Underwood (Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce),
- Nicky Hayward (business stakeholder),
- Patrick Seely (business stakeholder – Financial sector (Mooreland Partners),
- Alec Dabell (business stakeholder – Vectis Ventures),
- Claire Locke (business stakeholder – Founder of Artigiano),
- Wendy Perera (Isle of Wight Council officer),
- Jayne Tyler (Isle of Wight Council, task force administrator).