Letter: Can we expect more Government support after the App trial?

This reader suggests the ferries should be nationalised and the airport expanded to boost tourism accessibility, but questions whether the Government will support the Isle of Wight after the App trial

House of Parliament and Westminster Bridge

OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.

This from Thomas Munro. Ed

The Isle of Wight has suddenly become very important to the rest of the UK.

If Islanders are being asked to support this very important Contact Tracing App trial can we expect further support in the future in return, as until now the Island it seems is often forgotten.

Travel must be more accessible
The Island needs to be more accessible if it is to thrive as a tourist destination and have Government subsidies equivalent to those in Scotland, to enable people to travel easily to and fro.

Until now it has been cheaper to take a car to France than to the Isle of Wight in the summer.

Nationalise ferries and expand the airport
For it to be made more accessible we need :

  1. The ferries to be brought under Government control so that they are run for the benefit of the Island not shareholders, making travel affordable for everyone.
  2. The airport in Bembridge to be expanded for commercial use, ready for when aviation can be resumed again.

A boost for tourism and the economy
If this were done, the Island would be more connected than it has ever been and the options for getting to and from the Island would be radically changed.

This would boost tourism and the economy considerably for years to come and make the Island a prosperous place to live, work and visit.

Image: hernanpc under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 19th May, 2020 8:16am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2nFM

Filed under: Ferry, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor, Tourism

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8 Comments on "Letter: Can we expect more Government support after the App trial?"

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Thomas makes an excellent point. Bob Seely seems to have gone very quiet lately about the ‘Island Deal’ (a sneaky term IMO as it implies the ‘deal’ is done). Meanwhile Bob finds time to tweet about international relations with China on a fairly frequent basis. I’m sure Bob will point to the paltry £1300 per Care Home bed that’s just been awarded by central government, but it’s… Read more »

Money spent on the airport would be a complete waste. No operator is going to run commercial services and it is perfectly adequate now for private users.


As likely I’d say as the island receiving its promised island deal. LOL

I strongly agree to nationalizing the ferries, making journeys cheaper and services more reliable, but I do not agree with having a commercial airport. The Island is not far enough from the mainland to warrant one, we don’t have the space or the infrastructure, and air travel is very damaging to the environment. Hovercraft are also fuel guzzlers, despite being very popular with tourists and Islanders alike… Read more »
The ferry companies only need regulating…at present they can charge what they like for cross Solent travel and there is no one to tell them otherwise. A set, equal price from both companies, whatever the time of year is necessary. They are a business, nothing matters but money and profit. The failure to restrict all but essential travel and freight the past 2 months speaks for itself.… Read more »

How can anyone be certain that the ferries would be cheaper under nationalisation? At best the current fares would be maintained and possibly any future increases smaller. That’s about it. Any reduction in public spending would almost certainly result in reduced services and/or facilities and/or fare increases. Be careful what you wish for. Not that I see nationalisation happening soon under this government, or ever.

Angela Hewitt
No of Ferry trips per day comparisons? The Dover Calais ferry route connects England with France and is currently operated by 2 ferry companies. The DFDS Seaways service runs up to 15 times per day with a sailing duration of around 1 hour 30 minutes while the P&O Ferries service runs up to 23 times per day with a duration from 1 hr 30 min **** On weekends in season, the Steamship Authority ferries make more than 25 trips a day to Martha’s Vineyard from Woods Hole (two other… Read more »
Where would the Govt get the £500 odd million to buy the ferries from? Either by cutting services or by raising taxes/borrowing. Neither option seems that attractive. Then, what evidence do we have that the Government could run these services at a lower cost/higher availability? Also, what evidence is there that the existing skilled personnel employed by WL or RF would want to continue working for the… Read more »