Letter: No chance of a fixed link

Bob Blocksidge says there is no point discussing the possibility of a fixed link to the Island as he believes there is no chance it’ll ever transpire.

Rowing boat:

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with readers. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch. This letter from Unite delegate IW TUC, Bob Blocksidge from Freshwater. Ed


For the past few weeks there has been a lot of discussion on the subject of a Solent Tunnel “Fixed Link”. Some arguing for it and the benefits of being able to move people and goods, easily to and from the Island. While others argue that installing a “Fixed Link”, would destroy the peace and tranquillity of the Island.

In his letter to the CP last week, D Penberthy makes the point about the possible effect on house prices and the increase in traffic on Island roads, if a “Fixed Link” was ever installed. He goes on to further point out that our beloved ferry companies would, due to the competition from the “Fixed Link”, be forced out of business.

No chance
I would, firstly like to put his mind at rest, in my opinion there is absolutely no chance of a fixed link being installed, no matter how many people want it, or don’t want it.

The finances required to build such a structure would obviously be prohibitive to the IW County Council, even if it wanted to do it.

The same, even more so, would apply to the government, which, in my view, is hell bent on destroying, rather than building anything.

Private capital?
Could private capital be used? I doubt it. Private capital would give the impression, of being extremely reluctant to invest in Britain, let alone the Island.

It would appear that Capitalism is more interested in maximising profits, through avoiding taxes, than investing.

Ferry monopoly
I therefore conclude that the whole argument about the ”Fixed Link” is a red herring and a diversion from the debate about Wightlink and Red Funnel having monopolies on their routes.

Due to their monopoly position, they can charge whatever they like and run, what used to be known as service whenever they choose.

We should campaign for the ferry to taken back into public ownership and be run as a service for the people of the Island.

Dare to struggle, dare to win.

Image: Mike Baird under CC BY 2.0

Saturday, 6th July, 2013 2:23pm

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Filed under: Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

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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64 Comments on "Letter: No chance of a fixed link"

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woodworker

I remember lots of people saying that it pointless voting for independents because they had no chance – this is a tory island.

If people dont discuss it it most certainly will never happen. Fixed link should be discussed alongside the ferry monopoly.

Braveheart
I believe there will always be discussions on the merits of having a ‘Fixed Link’ from the Island to the mainland to relieve the pressures of being held ransom by the ferry companies. However, has anybody ever stopped to think that perhaps the mainlanders might not be quite so keen on the idea and would put forward many a legal challenge against it being built? That is… Read more »
Arthur

Personally, I think a rail tunnel would be ideal, but a ferry run as a public service would be a step in the right direction. The government doesn’t seem to care how much it costs to subsidise those who choose to live in the Falkland Islands, so why not put a bit our way too?

tiki
We choose to live on and island – if you don’t like it move! Simple as that. I don’t like the over inflated fares either but I choose to live here. I have lived in countries with fixed links and tolls and before long people moan about the price of the tolls and believe me tolls do increase. I thought it was a very good letter from… Read more »
woodworker

the old ‘if you dont like it, move’ line…

I was born here and have lived here all my life. It is home. I dont want to move. I do however want a fixed link or reduced ferry fares, and I dont want to be told that I should move away by anyone.

tryme

Are you at all concerned that it may no longer feel or look like ‘home’ here, after a couple of years or 5 or 10 of a fixed link, woodworker?

tryme
It’s unlikely that everything would stay the same apart from the method of crossing the Solent. I’m thinking more traffic coming over, more traffic Island-wide, more road-widening and road systems, removal of buildings in the way, more mainlanders living here and working on the north island, more Islanders moving to the mainland (a less final-seeming decision for them), less of a concentrated sense of Island history here,… Read more »
woodworker
of course things would change – for the better. More traffic – improved roads to cope with demand more mainlanders living here – mainlanders and islanders are both citizens of the UK, so who cares. Less interest in island history – that depends on the person. some Islanders have no interest in island history, and some mainlanders do. Fewer services on the island – so what? we… Read more »
tryme

If you don’t mind about downward homogeneity with the mainland, fewer services on the Island, and (for some reason) you have confidence that toll fares will be low – ‘who cares’ indeed!

Overner

“more mainlanders living here and working on the north island,”

And? What exactly is wrong with that?

I thought from previous comments on other posts that you were against discrimination, of any kind.

Obviously only when it suits your agenda.

tryme

Perhaps wait for me to answer your question, before you impute me with an ‘agenda’, Overner.

My thinking was that it benefits the Island if many people both live here and work here – local jobs stimulating the social and financial economies of communities here.

woodworker

Well said Overner, although a poor choice of name. I am pretty sick of people who think mainlanders should stay there and leave the island for islanders. The island is part of britain and there is no reason why anyone should not move here if they want to. If the entire population of the mainland were black, Tryme’s attitude would be racist.

tryme
You were dying to crowbar something in about racism, weren’t you woodworker! However inappropriately. Rushing to set up one’s own Aunt Sally can evidently be fun. In doing so you have given an insight into your evident resentment in matters of race. My comments haven’t said that there is any “reason why anyone should not move here if they want to”. I will put you to the… Read more »
woodworker
I really couldnt give a rats backside about shoehorning anything in. I simply find your attitude that Island jobs should go to people who live on the Island quite offensive, especially when many people who live on the Island work on the Mainland. The comparison to racism is my own. If people on the mainland were all black, your attitude would be racist. As it is, your… Read more »
tryme

….er…it was you did that, woodworker. Oh, and calm down…

woodworker
Yes… I never claimed I didnt. What a shame you cant see the reason why I did it… I was hoping to show you why I often find your attitude so disturbing by emulating it. Its a shame you can pull others up on that, but cant see that you are guilty of it yourself often. I am also perfectly calm. If you want to tell people… Read more »
tryme
If your (convoluted) intention was to hark back to a topic of some months ago, forgive me for not making the connection! It would be more effective (if you must), if you dug up that topic and continued posting from there, on what is evidently a subject still burning within you, rather than confusing a new topic with an old argument. Then we would all know and… Read more »
woodworker
I am quite sure that even a person who appears as obtuse as you do can see the connection to this post. You want Island jobs to go to Islanders… hence discriminating against mainlanders who want to live here and work on the mainland – or even Islanders who want to live here and work on the mainland. Yes, it IS discrimination, and whatever the topic, you… Read more »
tryme

Ho ho, very funny when that remark is coming from you and your comments on this topic, woodworker!

As it seems to be mud-slinging you’re after, rather than dealing with posts as written, (if I am very generous, in addition to the posts as written), I’m afraid I can’t oblige. Over and out.

woodworker
My intention is not to be funny at all. I genuinely believe you are discriminating when you say that Island jobs should go to Island residents only. I also genuinely believe that you are able to see or imagine discrimination from others, but are unable to see it in yourself. I have most definitely responded to the comments you have written here, and I had hoped to… Read more »
tryme

Didn’t say that.

woodworker

If you really want your exact words:

“more mainlanders living here and working on the north island,”

The context was definitely that this would be a negative thing and that you are against it – an attitude which is discriminatory. But then you knew that all along. Didnt you. Or are you more obtuse than I thought.

tryme

You have just proved that I ‘didn’t say that’.

I shan’t be looking to you as a purveyor of my ‘context’!

woodworker

and you have just proven that whilst you are eager to pick up on other peoples flaws, you are completely blind to your own, and have absolutely no interest in learning about them or changing your narrow minded outlook on the world.

What a sad existence.

tryme

If you carry on saying such nice, unasked-for things about me, woodworker, there is a danger that “People will say we’re in love….”

Overner

The seemingly constant bickering between you two is really very tiresome and doesn’t reflect well on either of you.

You both seem to have interesting observations to add to discussions, but it gets cancelled out when you start fighting with each other.

tryme
You are suddenly the voice of the reasonable person Overner! Yet you made a scathing comment of me early on in this thread, and then the other main poster made a series of untrue and unpleasant remarks. I daresay you WOULD have liked me to leave it there! Do you walk away if this happens to you? I think I conducted myself ok. If you read the… Read more »
woodworker

if you truly believe I or any other poster was intent on being unpleasent to you then you really need to get out more. I have simply said it as I see it. You often have a go at other people about discrimination, yet dislike it when you are hoisted on your own petard.
I am done with this.

tryme

Your invention of a ‘petard’ seems to satisfy some past grievance you have from a past thread, woodworker, (we know which one). Sorry, but there has been no hoisting or ‘discriminating’ on my part, energetically though you have pursued this chimera.

woodworker

I really cant be bothered. Just go away.

tryme

You’re such a sweetie, aren’t you! It was I ‘bothered’ by you all along, of course. Feel free to desist further.

Don Smith

They once said there would never be a man on the moon.

And did it change other locations where they have seen the benefit of a fixed link?

Look what a difference the link across the R.Itchen has made, despite all the original objections.

For example there are hundreds of links between Southampton and London (Put the clock back) Where would be be without them? Move with the times.

tryme

Let’s all ‘move with the times’ and go to hell in a handcart!

BRIAN

Likely scenario:

Fixed link built with cheaper fares than ferry

Ferry companies cease trading

Bridge owners increase fares to those of former ferry companies

Everyone complains about the fixed link and suggest we have a ferry service for competition

tryme

Similar to organic foods being made available by Island business, then being sold more cheaply in Tesco, Island organic farm eventually unable to compete and goes out of business, Tesco stops selling most of their organic lines.

Albert Street

Whatever the argument, one thing is certain the Ferry Companies are killing the Island off. Should the Island attract Assisted Area Status funding it should purchase one of the Ferry companies.

If the fixed link is an option it could be self funding by letting renewal energy companies use the bridge to generate tidal energy

Draw Bridge
Bob Blocksidge is probably correct, a bridge will never be built at least not in our lifetime. Why not? Simple finances, nobody is willing to pay for it! The new Forth Bridge project is costing £1.45 billion. All that for a mere 1.7 Km crossing. George Bristow, the Bembridge publican newly arrived from the mainland, thinks our bridge spanning at least twice the distance, would be cheaper… Read more »
tryme

Clearly put, Draw Bridge.

Don Smith
If the government can spend billions on a fast train just to save a few minutes travelling up North, blighting some beautiful countryside, and disrupting hundreds of households. Spending billions interfering in troubles in far off lands, it can surely meet the cost of a fixed link at no cost to the tax payer. Get rid of the House of Lords, and reduce the number of MPs… Read more »
kevin Barclay-Jay
there is an economic benefit to the HS2…but none to the government of building a bridge…we have no major industry except tourism which only survives because we are an Island… The only feasible fixed link…(even if the fantasy of ebough money being avaialble) would be a rail link we still manage to coax about a million visitors a year, so, once the current economic crisis is over… Read more »
tryme

That sounds like a good plan Kevin. It would be nice to think that this Council might be able to make some kind of inroads in the meantime….

tryme

(No pun intended at 1.32pm…particularly with my view!)

Don Smith

Many places rely on tourism, and are not islands – Blackpool, just to mention one of hundreds.

Sorry, the tourist that visit London use Tower Bridge and that’s a
link:-)

And why are there no major industries on the IoW – The ferries! Ferry costs deter industries coming and the ferries are the main reason they will close all the island’s prisons. COST!

tryme

If we all push together on the count of ‘3’, maybe we can manoeuvre the Island right up close, flush with Portsmouth…

peaceful_life

Think energy, and carbon.

A fixed link isn’t going to happen, develop a cultural narrative that is productive and proud to be an island, which after all…is what this little slab of rock is.

Creativity is required, not a bridge.

kevin Barclay-Jay

totally agree PL..as an Island we have the perfect choice to persue real localism.

A regionally varying VAT rate for the UK would help as well

tryme

Absolutely agree, peaceful_life.

Don Smith

Little slab of ROCK – peaceful_life’s

My geologist friend informs me that it is more clay, shale and slate. Rock comes from Blackpool:-)

Joseph Moore

Slightly off topic, I know but given that both shale and slate are types of rock, as well as plenty of chalk and sandstone in the vicinity I’d say you’ve misunderstood your geologist friend. The only bit that’s not really rock is the clay north of the big chalk ridge and even that’s interspersed with limestone.

peaceful_life

You can chalk that one up with blue slipper semantics.

tryme

Mmmmm, I’m finding this talk of geology very restful, soothing even…. And the thought of Ryde or Ventnor rock sticking out of the Solent beneath us – I feel a storybook coming on….

tryme

(Mind you, not so restful if you live over the Graben fault…)

RJC

All this talk about a bridge always amuses me. I think most of the protesters are employers who would have to pay proper wages, or selfish people who do not need to travel to get decent work. If this crossing was multi purpose like harnessing the tidal power it could attract more funding.

So the ‘dream’ is not impossible.

Draw Bridge

Not impossible just improbable.

Decent wages?? then paying an extra £50+ per day travel costs!

Harnessing Tidal Power, so you are now increasing the build costs by a factor of 2, 3 or more?

When you can show who will pay these £Billions, then you can keep your “dream” alive!

Robert Jones
One of those hardy perennials … like assisted area status. The time to do this, and it should have been done then, was when we still had a rail network; a rail-only tunnel would have made sense, would have had no impact on the island’s roads, would have been environment-friendly, would have made commuting to and from the island easier, would have enabled more of our young… Read more »
RJC
Who will pay? I suppose the same sort of people that invest telephone numbers in fracking, drilling, building power stations etc. It would just be an anchor for tidal power, the power units would have already been built for somewhere. £50 travel costs? How much do you think the ferries will cost by then. My accomodation used to cost that sometimes. Oh and decent work. Some of… Read more »
robsuk
IF you dont ASK you dont GET. Now is the time to ask, and if they say no. Ask again, its US on the island that NEED a fixed link other wise we may as well batten down the hatch and kiss good bye to our younger generation. As more work will be moved to the north island. And the ferry companies CONTINUE to fleece US for… Read more »
Draw Bridge

Who are you going to ask?
Have they got the billions of pounds necessary and why would they want to spend it on a bridge for this island?

peaceful_life

Then create a future for the islands next generation right here, on the island.

The lack of a fixed link is not the problem.

mat
It is wrong to say, “No Chance” because things can change.After all there is a population of 140,000 here and people are more assertive in their aspirations on the island these days. Costs do not have to be at the levels indicated as crossrail projects are technically proven to be easier than previously. There is also some expertise available in the immediate vicinity. I agree on most… Read more »
Draw Bridge

Wow, 49 million Euros available! How far will that reach across the Solent?

“Costs do not have to be at the levels indicated” When the new Forth Bridge project is costing a minimum £1.4 billion, explain why a longer bridge here would be cheaper?

As stated earlier,until you can answer the question, who is going to finance the bridge, there is indeed NO CHANCE!

peaceful_life
Capital does indeed expect a return, it’s called ‘growth’, and there’s a problem with that, there isn’t…and won’t be any. Other than white elephant, and economic Trojan horses, there’s already little to no investment in critical infrastructure, let alone aspirational mobility ventures. Put ‘wants’ to one side for a moment, and just look at the physics of the energy situation, and the state of social realpolitik. What… Read more »
Thomas
Capital centred economy expects a return in the form of profit. Social economy does not necessarily expect a return but it can as a claim on added value. There are three claims on added value; (1) Monopoly claim (2) Workers’ claim in terms of wages and (3) social claim (usually government) Growth is separated from any return. It can be measured as GDP, GNP or GVA. GVA… Read more »
peaceful_life
That’s a lot of hypothesising, Thomas, but it’s not the here and now. You need to go beyond the anthropocentric in order to take a base line of economic drivers. Right or wrong, needs recognised in a broader view, is it ‘right’ that we consume our own habitat to the point of detriment?…….I think that’s fairly obvious, yet..that’s the modus operadi, moreover..we ignore this fact and confine… Read more »
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