Lymington to Pompey can be quicker via IW ferry than driving M27 says Gosport MP

Raised in the House of Commons by Caroline Dinenage MP, OnTheWight looks into this unexpected comparison. Darn the M27 must be slow.

IW ferry vs M27 journey

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.

The maps
Click for larger version
Lymington to Portsmouth via Isle of Wight ferries - Google Maps

Lymington to Portsmouth via M27 - Google Maps

Images: Google Maps

Thursday, 20th March, 2014 12:38pm



Filed under: Ferry, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Roads, Top story

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7 Comments on "Lymington to Pompey can be quicker via IW ferry than driving M27 says Gosport MP"

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Time would have be pretty important as costing out the time saved in the ferry option two options indicates.

If the ferry route is 15 miles shorter and using the cost of ferries+ AA car running costs, each mile saved would cost about £3.20.

Smart marketing by WL? :-))


Nobody told her about Bouldnor then, but hey, now we need two bridges and a motorway.

Mr Magoo

Speaking from memory, I recall reading of a lecturer a few years back who lived in the New Forest and worked in Portsmouth and who used the Island as a ‘stepping stone’. He rode an electric bike so his journey times were fast.


We perhaps need swift ferry services along this stretch of the south coast.

Mark L Francis

Ms Dineage must be on expenses.
Plus you would have to assume minimal waiting times for the ferries.


Just a thought for those of you who are fixed link advocates. If the Link is built at the Western end of the Island just think motorists can join the throng on the M27 to both Pompey and Southampton.


No change there then, the same as joining the throng from getting off of the ferry