Letter: Have Isle of Wight ferry ports reached and exceeded capacity?

Cllr Karl Love says solutions to tackle the gridlocked congestion his town faces when there are ferry delays need to be explored or face the consequences.

east cowes gridlock on the roads

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This from Cllr Karl Love, Isle of Wight councillor for East Cowes.

Photos of gridlocked East Cowes last week by Cameron Palin. Ed


It seems to me that the more space cross-Solent ferry operators occupy, the greater the environmental impacts are in the local vicinity for the highway networks and its people.

East Cowes is a working town and port with many businesses, as is Yarmouth. Fishbourne is a built-up area with virtually no spare capacity for vehicular expansion of Wightlink.

east cowes gridlock

Infrastructure is not coping
We have seen bigger ferries and additional passenger services introduced, but our infrastructure is not coping, even though more space has been created by Red Funnel in its yards.

I believe the extra space is simply filled up by the bigger ferry capacity and there is no clear strategy for dealing with the chaos that occurs in the town when things go wrong.

Red Funnel and other ports terminals cannot be congested by excessive ferry traffic and this requires a managed solution.

east cowes gridlock

Working with all stakeholders
I will be meeting with Red Funnel Management in the near future and hopefully we can work with IWC, the Harbourmaster and Island Roads to resolve some of these issues. We can clearly see the access road issues of Wightlink at Fishbourne too.

east cowes gridlock

Some possible solutions
Improved vehicle and customer communications are required; A highway management plan; An emergency highway management plan; Drive by electronic signage redirecting traffic signals at the Whippingham roundabout and York Ave.

A policy of not accepting early departures booking changes on Friday to Sunday bookings in high season; A drive away from the gates policy when the yard is full so not to block town streets; An out of town holding area needs to be developed for both Red Funnel and Wightlink.

These are some of the possible solutions. It’s time to explore these or face the consequences.

Images: © Cameron Palin

Tuesday, 3rd September, 2019 7:34am

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Filed under: Cowes, East Cowes, Ferry, Fishbourne, Isle of Wight News, Roads, Yarmouth

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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1 Comment on "Letter: Have Isle of Wight ferry ports reached and exceeded capacity?"

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Benny C

Trouser browser Cllr Ward is cabinet member for infrastructure and transport. No wonder this embarrassing and costly debacle is happening. Odds are that, as usual, he hasn’t bothered to get the facts so he isn’t capable of dealing with this. Same old story every time. He will probably opine on it anyway.