Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head, spoke this week in a House of Commons debate on Transport Infrastructure.
Mainland roads getting slower
She expressed frustration – shared by many – at how getting around the South coast of England, in particular between Southampton and Portsmouth, was becoming increasingly slow on the roads – and this was being exacerbated as additional people moved from the slow-train service to the roads.
She commented that it’s become so slow, that, at times of very heavy traffic, going via the Isle of Wight – including its two ferry journeys – can sometimes be faster than taking the M27.
In the debate she said:
“I have heard that it can be quicker for commuters in the extreme western end of the Solent to get to Portsmouth via the Isle of Wight, which involves taking two ferries, than by using the M27, which is clearly ridiculous.”
Caroline told OnTheWight that she’d been given the figures by Solent LEP, who had published a transport study they carried out.
Our rough estimates
While we’re waiting to hear back from Solent LEP, OnTheWight gained some very approximate figures by using Google Maps’ journey planner.
Google had way over-estimated the ferry journey lengths, so we adjusted them back to be closer to the actual length.
We came up with an optimum journey time, via the Island, of one hour 49 minutes – a figure that it might well be believable to be matched or exceeded by a clogged up M27.
Much less mileage
It’s certainly less miles. Google tells us that via the Island would be 28 miles vs 43 miles via the M27 – over half as much again as just by road.
Images: Google Maps