Isle of Wight MP seeks reassurance for Island Line users

As reported yesterday, Bob Seely says he is keen to ensure that any potential changes to the management of Island Line will not impact on passengers; and that the £26 million investment will be delivered as planned

bob seely in parliament

As reported by OnTheWight on Wednesday, Isle of Wight Conservative MP Robert Seely has asked the Government to make a statement about the South Western Railway (SWR) franchise – which includes Island Line – following concerns raised about the future of the franchise this week.

Bob says he is keen to ensure that any potential changes to the management of Island Line will not impact on passengers; and that the £26 million investment into the IW railway will be delivered as planned.

A spokesperson from SWR told OnTheWight,

“We are continuing to focus on performance for our customers and are getting on with delivering our plans for 2020, including our plans for the Island Line. 

“The situation we’ve outlined doesn’t change that at all.”

Bob said:

“I have put down a written question asking the Secretary of State to make a statement on the future of South Western Railway and the forthcoming investment in Island Line.

“I will be seeking confirmation that the Government will take any necessary action to ensure that scheduled services are unaffected.

“With regard to Island Line, the £26 million secured in September was signed off by the Department of Transport – as it is essentially government investment – and therefore I have no reason to believe that it will not go ahead, as planned. 

“The last conversation I had with the Secretary of State for Transport about Island Line and transport on the Island was this Wednesday (January 8).

“As we have seen over recent weeks, the current infrastructure on Island Line has more than reached the end of its natural life, and it is essential that the investment in refurbished rolling stock, the new passing loop and improved track proceeds on the agreed timescales. I will endeavour to provide further updates in due course.”

Thursday, 9th January, 2020 11:35am



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

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5 Comments on "Isle of Wight MP seeks reassurance for Island Line users"

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Surely the problems currently surrounding cross-Solent traffic should be of higher priority?

Rhos yr Alarch

I may be missing something, but surely if the current franchise ends, won’t the new infrastructure issues be a little more complicated than that, even if the funding ultimately comes from the UK Government? I’d assume there’d be major contract issues, if the manufacturers of the new trains (all in full swing, we understand) have their contract with the current franchisee…?


Mr. Seely can arrange £26M for a hugely loss-making enterprise which serves a smidgen of the population but never seems to mention the need for a fixed link appraisal when talking to the transport minister. One might indeed wonder why this is so in 2020.

A fixed link is of little use to non-drivers who will still be subject to racketeering by private companies exploiting essential travel needs. Loss making enterprise? Evidence please. IOW has been “promised” new stock & improved rail services for years…the same as citizens in northern England. Despite the vast profits of the companies concerned, zilch happens. In addition to this, the gross deregulation of transport providers allows… Read more »
“This didn’t prevent SW trains imposing their own price hike on Island Line, likewise” As a regular user of Islandline i am not aware of any price hikes? They have simply implemented the annual fares increase as they have done each year for as long as i can remember by a minimum of 10p for most journeys and a maximum of 20p for day returns from Shanklin,… Read more »