We always welcome 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 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.
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.
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.
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