‘Regulate Isle of Wight ferry prices’ calls petition

Richard Jarman says he has to travel via Southampton to see his daughter in Portsmouth because of excessive ferry fares. He’s calling on the Government to take action to regulate ferry fares from the Isle of Wight.

ferry wash

An online petition calling for government action over the price of travelling to and from the Isle of Wight by ferry is gaining attention.

The petition set up by Richard Jarman has already attracted almost 800 signatures.

The petition reads,

Regulate Isle of Wight ferry prices
I personally want to travel to Portsmouth to see my daughter, but I have to go via Southampton as I am priced out by Wightlink due to their excessive fees. The IOW residents especially need regulation to stop the companies from monopolising on the services they provide. This is one of many examples.

Both Isle of Wight ferry companies (Red Funnel and Wightlink) are charging a lot of money to travel, especially when there are events on the Island.

This restricts people financially (especially residents as they have no choice in using these two companies) in travelling either from or to the Isle of Wight. This is damaging businesses on the Island that rely on tourist trade which is in decline, families are also restricted in seeing each other.

The petition
You can sign the petition by heading over to the Government Petitions Website.

At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition. At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Image: k38shawn under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 12th August, 2016 8:24am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2esS

Filed under: Ferry, Government, Hover, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Travel

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43 Comments on "‘Regulate Isle of Wight ferry prices’ calls petition"

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Government Petitions are a waste of time and effort. They achieve exactly nothing. Do you remember all of the political fanfare from the government when the law changed as a direct result of someone starting an e-petition? No? Neither do I! But you can bet they’d be blowing their own trumpet very loudly if it happened. There’d be no stopping them from going on about how they… Read more »

True! e-petitions are a facade. Get more than a 100,000 signatures then the government will debate it- oh yeah!

The “debate” takes place in Westminster Hall (not the Commons), attended by a handful of MPs and officials, no decisions are made other than “noting” that the “debate” has taken place.


I agree doubt weather will see this happen under this government.

Even so, this is one of the many ways awareness can be raised about an issue, and together they can all add up to something. And you never know when one or two of a “handful” of people might sit up and connect with what they’re hearing, and make it part of a bigger picture they’re involved in. If the whole mix is kept on the boil,… Read more »

(nico) “Even so, this is one of the many ways awareness can be raised about an issue, and together they can all add up to something.”

“Something” has not yet been “added up to” for the last 20 years, so don’t hold your breath waiting.

I suspect that most Islanders are already aware of the problem: mainlanders DGAS about our problem and go elsewhere because of ferry pricing..

20 years is nothing when it comes to the passge of history and a long-held wish coming to fruition! OK, it might not happen tomorrow! But look how suddenly and unexpectedly major shifts have happened in the last few years, after decades of plugging away – civil partnerships, gay marriage, leaving the EU, a socialist leading the Labour party, women all over senior government, no smoking in… Read more »

“20 years is nothing when it comes to the passage of history and a long-held wish coming to fruition”

It is two-thirds of a generation. Twenty years ago, how many 10 year olds were pining for gay marriage, Brexit, socialism and no smoking?


… and equal opportunities for women.

Maybe not many 10 year olds, but plenty of adults.


Do you believe there will be either a fixed link or cheaper ferries by 2036?


Fixed link by 2036?

No. Not a chance.

Cheaper ferries by 2036?

Possibly. I’m sure by then Comrade Corbyn will have been PM for over 15 years and will be achieving the aim of nationalising all public transport.

I don’t think it is regulation that is needed, it is recognition that we need the ferries to be reclassified as ‘public transport’ as it is my understanding that there will then be assistance, in the form of subsidy, or reduction in berthing costs etc. which will enable the fare reduction we all need. it is time to have the ridiculous notion that we are estuarial and… Read more »
Brenda richardson

My friend has just moved over there and now I can’t afford regular visits


If regular is at least five times a year get a book of ten multilink tickets from Wightlink then it is £25 a crossing any time of the year.

Joe, you are right multi link tickets are cheaper but there are a limited number allocated to each sailing and Wightlink won’t disclose what the allocation is, that is a shame, because it makes you suspicious and it is pretty clear some wag is trying on a yield policy…. they always work against existing customers. This means that if as a multi link holder you want to… Read more »

Ferry fares are an absolute rip-off and nobody seems to want to do anything to ease the burden. Sorry to all you who wave your arms about and shout “NO, NO,NO” but a fixed link is the only solution and is way overdue.


Not again! A tunnel might be cheaper but instead of a simple declaration that it is, over and over again, can we please have a proper costing, route, land acquisition, build cost, running cost, required air changes, emergency access and funding.
It’s a pointless declaration without them!

If we ever do get given all the details of fixed link options and there is any feasibility, I hope a) it would be turned down, end of, or b) if an inclination for those in power to accept, that there would be a referendum on the Island, (separate from any on the other side). Whatever the result, I dareay we’d then have to live with all… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed

To get a proper costing, route, etc, we need a feasibility and impact study, There is Government funding available for such studies and the Isle of Wight Council needs to apply for it!

Luisa Hillard
A fixed link would almost certainly increase crime rates, particularly car theft and burglaries where stuff needs to get shifted quickly. Becoming a suburb of a mainland city would also have it’s issues – we become a commuter destination, a holiday home destination and house prices rise. Yes, a fixed link could increase access to jobs for us but that’s a double-edged sword. I hear a lot… Read more »
Oh yes, we’d better hang on to those low car crime rates in exchange for double the unemployment of SE England, £8k lower average wages than Hampshire and our high rates of drug and domestic violent crime. All that’s worthwhile to keep that car crime down and stop people travelling freely out of the county. Don’t go letting more than a single metric get in the way… Read more »
Mr cropp

Drop the price to islanders and put up the pieces for visitors , when they put a bridge to sky in Scotland the people on sky paid around £5.00 to use it and visitors pay about £30.00 to use it

Yes, agreed. Nowadays there would be online and digital safeguards that would make verification and security of a regular Island rate easier to enforce than the days when paper tickets could presumably have been passed around to visitors from the mainland. Think of the goodwill coming to Wightlink and Red Funnel if they did that, including a weakening of feeling that a fixed link is the only… Read more »

Why would anyone put this to the ferry companies? They’re doing just fine.

You seem to be mistaking what can be done with a PFI road link, which was then bought by public funds with a pair of unregulated private companies, who the government will have no interest whatsoever in clipping the wings of.


just the extra income all the businesses would receive from more people being able to visit the Island more often would cover the reduction in fares, then maybe there could be a subsidy to the ferry companies.

Yes the ferries rip people off. I have heard some crackpot explanations as to why they are so expensive. But a fixed link? Will NEVER happen. It’s a financial and logistical nonsense. But ironically, if there ever was one, (a) the crossing charges on it would be very high-probably more than current ferry costs. and (b) ironically the ferries would have to RAISE, not lower, prices..because their… Read more »

If there was a fixed link there would be NO car ferry services.
Passenger ferries ok. To have all the road transport services relying on one fixed link is ludicrous. A serious accident causing damage to bridge or tunnel could isolate the island to vehicular traffic for days if not weeks.

Luisa Hillard
In my mind the most viable fixed link (should there be such a thing) would be a railway line, not a road, carrying foot passengers only. In that way it would limit the number of cars coming onto the Island and reduce the likely grid lock on our roads on sunny weekends and evenings. The ferries would remain for vehicles and those who fancy a ‘mini cruise’… Read more »

There would be no point in having a tunnel that did not carry traffic. Why “limit the number of cars (and vans/lorries)” when they can bring in the tourists and cut down transport costs. Also, many people have to work on the mainland to earn a decent wage and they currently “dump” their cars on the roads around Ryde to travel on the hovercraft.

Luisa Hillard
Having grown up by Hayling Island I am familiar with the 6 mile traffic jams heading towards the beach on sunny evenings and weekends in the summer. Our Island is already suffering from congestion and to allow unlimited numbers of extra cars would be unsustainable. Our highway network would be brought to a standstill and that would be to the long-term detriment of residents and businesses. An… Read more »
How are you going to get people to relocate to the IW when crossing the Solent is such a PITA? Technology companies rely on people meeting people easily and effectively. Without a fixed link they won’t come. Also, the fixed link is needed to stop IW businesses being held to ransom by freight charges – introducing a new break of bulk in the form of railways is… Read more »
Luisa Hillard
Technology companies (and business in general) increasingly relies on video conferencing and screen sharing to avoid travel time. Or so I’m led to believe by the BT Rural Broadband Project. Yes, freight is an issue but businesses seem to get tickets a lot cheaper than residents or holiday makers. If freight was to be carried on the trains I can imagine that Smallbrook would be a good… Read more »
Luisa Hillard

I would also add that the Island has an opportunity to build a reputation as a centre of excellence in various industries and we could push the ‘eco island’ agenda to attract more cutting edge technologies and trials.

The Island has seen many firsts and much innovation and most of that when the ferries were steam powered!


Davee is talking a lot of unfounded rubbish.
a. Fixed link would never pay for itself so there could be no set costing. (e.g. Severn bridge)
b. The channel ferries managed to survive after the tunnel.

Luisa Hillard
Without any exercise in actually costing a scheme then I don’t know that it’s possible to make claims about the financial viability. We can look at how many cars and passengers use a particular ferry route each year and get an idea of demand. It’s unlikely that people who use the Yarmouth Ferry would use a fixed link to Portsmouth but all those passing through Ryde and… Read more »

Well said, Luisa! Better railway connections on the Island would be good too…

Luisa Hillard
It would be difficult to reinstate the railway lines across the Island but I see no reason (other than the huge cost, practicalites of a bridge or tunnel across the Solent etc) why there couldn’t be a Shanklin to London route, via Ryde and Portsmouth Harbour. It make sense to me and would help to overcome many of the likely planning objections that are likely from where… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed

Why does a FL stop us being an Island?


@ dave,

strange isnt it. That the South Queenferry, Kyle of Lochalsh and Severn ferries all closed as soon as the respective road bridges were built. There is a bit of a difference between the Channel tunnel and a fixed link to the IW. Using the Chunnel you can drive from Uk to South Korea. With a fixed link Uk to Ventnor. Bit of a difference in trade!


“Using the Chunnel you can drive from Uk to South Korea.”


How do you cross N. Korea?

Isn’t the surface route to South Korea by ferry (from either Japan or Russia)?


so you have to take a ferry and are not technically driving? Is that your nit picking point?

You cant technically drive from Dover to Calais either – the car goes on a train.

Much easier to stay at home and post sarcastic pedantic drivel on ventnor blog isnt it now.


In a discussion point about avoiding ferries, wrongly claiming a journey can be made without one is a point worthy of highlighting.

Unless of course you think the inaccuracy is a valuable contribution to the conversation?

No such claim was made. This discussion is not about avoiding ferries, its about regulating prices. Even davee and dave are only talking about fixed links – not avoiding ferries. More to the point, stop being so ridiculously petty. Its obvious what is meant by the comment davee made – why would you bother picking on a minor inaccuracy and chiming in? Also – it IS possible… Read more »
Jean gilbert-firmstone

It is scandalous the price of ferries. My daughter visited this weekend and she was charged £180! This was on Wight Link.