Pro-link group to present their argument to Isle of Wight council

The presentation to the Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Regeneration, Planning, Housing and the Environment is expected to take place in the autumn.

Light at the end of the tunnel

This in from the council. Ed


The Isle of Wight Council’s new administration is keen to engage with the Solent Tunnel fixed link debate.

Presently, a date is being sought for the Policy and Scrutiny Committee for Regeneration, Planning, Housing and the Environment and other interested councillors, to receive an informal presentation regarding the proposals, to ensure a better understanding of the options. This is expected to take place in the early autumn.

Cllr Ian Ward, Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said:

“The ‘pro-link’ group want a ‘letter of support’ from the council to back their application for funding to enable a feasibility study for their proposals. This study would form the next stage in progressing any potential plans for a fixed link in the future and to enable the discussions to progress, subject to the study outcomes.

“I am keen to understand more about the proposals before making a decision so we have invited the ‘pro-link’ group to present their case, and welcome the opportunity to learn more.”

Once all the evidence is received and considered the committee will make a recommendation to the council’s Cabinet for a decision on the council’s position regarding a letter of support.

Image: Red Hand Records under CC BY 2.0

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66 Comments on "Pro-link group to present their argument to Isle of Wight council"

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ontap
Well I very much hope that this idea gets dropped fairly quickly. The island’s unique characteristics are precisely because it IS an island. In my opinion it would suffer and lose one of its main ‘selling points’ to both tourists and a lot of people who live here. One of the main points usually raised when the fixed link gets airtime is the moaning about ferry costs… Read more »
Nitonia

Our unique characteristics such as deprivation, unemployment and homelessness.

ontap

Okay, sorry about that. I had forgotten that on the mainland (where people can freely travel between counties) deprivation, unemployment and homelessness isn’t so much of a problem…

Although, on second thoughts, my observations suggest to me that deprivation, unemployment and homelessness on the mainland seems worse than on the Isle of Wight?

Suruk the Slightly Miffed
In that you are incorrect. Unemployment on the IW is much higher than that in neighbouring Hampshire, Dorset and West Sussex (JSA claimants 1.7% as opposed to 1.2%) Average full time pay in Portsmouth £532 pw Average full time pay in Southampton £550 pw Average full time pay in Gosport £553 pw Average full time pay in Havant £522 pw Average full time pay on IW £441… Read more »
ontap
This is a good example of when statistics do not tell the whole truth, or at least can be misleading. The Isle of Wight has a very pronounced majority of older persons. Higher proportionally than you might find in some of the areas you mention. Taking into account the very small population (approx 140,000 on IoW) compared with some of the mentioned areas, and again the statistics… Read more »
Suruk the Slightly Miffed

The stats are for working age people.

Suruk the Slightly Miffed

It’s going to happen. There are now far more people in favour than against the idea of a fixed link.

Get used to it.

Suruk the Slightly Miffed
In addition, the biggest problem with the ferries is their frequency and reliability. A fixed £30 or £40 each way would see me using the fixed link in preference to the ferry as: No having to travel at fixed times and turn up 30 before departure. No wondering what it’s going to cost me. No wondering if it’s going to be £40 return or £180 return. No… Read more »
ontap
I do take your point that the ferries can only be used as per their timetable and that is not always convenient. However, when talking to some people about the fixed link option it does seem that not many have thought through the detail and fully appreciated that a substantial toll charge (which will certainly have to be levied) could quite easily mean that they might be… Read more »
iowdave

I bet “ontap” is retired and does not have to seek work in low paid jobs. No consideration for young people trying to make a living. If we get a fixed link the IOW will be forced to pay a similar rate to the mainland or lose our future generation as they commute (and eventually leave).

Mr. Ron
Its odd that any organisation that proposes a fixed link ignores the issues such as crime rates, immigration and anything that makes the IOW attractive to tourists. This group are totally profit orientated (knowing some of the characters) and this is simply an extension of their personal gains ambition. In fairness they could always go live on the North Island and have all they wish for !!
iowdave

OK Ron, so we don’t have crime nor immigration!!!
Same old adage “go live on the North Island”. Please take your head out of the sand.

appolyon
The opening of the channel tunnel didn’t make the UK any less of an island, it just made it more convenient to reach the continent. And that’s the overriding factor here, convenience. There is obviously going to be a price to travel this link, but a price I would be willing to pay for a chance to reach the mainland as and when I want to. The… Read more »
Mr. Ron

Indeed the Tunnel allowed us to access the European mainland; but do not forget the vast numbers that make the reverse trip either legally or more importantly illegally. If you only look at the sunny side you will see no shadow until its too cold to make changes !!

Suruk the Slightly Miffed

Most illegal immigrants coming in at Dover do so hidden in lorries travelling on *ferries*!!!

bocca
What a complete waste of money, money could be better spent on giving us an actual hospital that works well. The reason I moved here because it was unlike every town on the mainland clogged full of traffic. As for jobs it took me 2 weeks of being here to get one.As for looking forward why don’t we have a survey into getting some fracking done on… Read more »
Suruk the Slightly Miffed

You can always move back to the mainland if you don’t like us natives making our lives easier by bringing this place into the 21st century.

bocca

I may just move back along with a few more, and people who have holiday homes. yes us people that come here to work and support local businesses then where will the Island be? Back where it started. Either way when/if it comes to a vote I will take a considered approach to a vote and not just say no.

iowdave

Well, Bocca, I have been refused bookings in the past because the ferries are full. Yes the multilink ticket system does seem to carry some influence.
As for Island roads, they inherited a dilapidated road network, maintained (BADLY) by Island companies.
Please bear this in mind when you post comments.

Steve Goodman

?
‘As for Island roads, they were gifted a generous contract by a Con. council who first chose to quietly cut maintenance spending to create a (BADLY) dilapidated road network, and who were kicked out shortly afterwards partly for doing so.
Please bear this in mind when you post comments.’

(OTW march 2011; “Council figures show the Conservatives slashed the spending on Island road maintenance”
– link to follow.)

Steve Goodman
bish

Opinion is changing and it seems to be more people that have lived here for several generations are in favour. Perhaps because they can see their offspring leaving because there are no opportunities. The people that are moving here are the most anti.

Suruk the Slightly Miffed
Yes, this, absolutely. They, of course, have the right to be anti link if that is their view, but when they make comments along the lines of “No FL, If you don’t like it MOVE” (usually capitalised just like that) I do get rather annoyed. My parents live here. My grandparents and great grandparents are buried here, I work here, my wife works here, my kids go… Read more »
bones

Or perhaps because they haven’t lived anywhere else?

Mr. Ron

Indeed, one of the possible improvements for us on the IOW may be a bridge over the Medina to better the flow of traffic between Ryde and Cowes which is a traffic issue. The slip road in Newport is a step forward but a fixed link somewhere between Cowes and Newport to avoid Coppins Bridge would be a localised advantage.

Tim

Its a good job that our Victorian predecessors were not anti progress, otherwise we would have no schools, hospitals, railways, electricity, gas, mains water & sewage etc.

Those that have recently moved here will be unaware how much the island has changed since the mid-20th century and the increasing prosperity gap between ourselves and the mainland.

starb.

Perhaps we could apply for an EU grant to pay for it. As likely as if it will ever happen.

Tim

No need for EU funding, our own Government has set aside £ 483Bn for infrastructure projects such as this, we just need to ask for our fair share.

Why should it always be more prosperous areas on the mainland that benefit from the taxes that us islanders pay?

Colin
I do hope that the anti-fixed-link group will be accorded the same oppotunity to present their case in the interests of equality. Just beccause a small minority are vocal with alternative truths doesn’t mean they should have preference over the silent majoity who prefer the status quo (or indeed any ageing rock band) Given the IWC council policy of backing anything that is a potential dead duck,… Read more »
Suruk the Slightly Miffed

The “small minority” are now those opposed to the fixed link. It doesn’t matter how much you deny it, that is a fact, and one you need to get used to.

iowdave

It was, until recently, the anti fixed link group who were most vocal. However, more and more people are beginning to realised that a fixed link is our only lifeline.

richard

Colin – sorry I am going to pick you up there on the ‘small minority’ – Suruk clearly states above that there are far more people in favour then against..

Colin

@ richard

Behave.

lol

Tim
All recent polls etc. point to islanders being substantially in favour of a fixed link. There are always a few vociferous NIMBYS who want “nothing to change”, despite the increasing centralising of things such as healthcare away from the island(see HIOW STP Delivery Plan 2016.) Even back in the 1970s in the days of the Vectis Nationalists it became apparent that the island could not sustain itself… Read more »
Suruk the Slightly Miffed

Yep, this too.

It doesn’t matter how many time the Collins of this world try to dismiss pro-linkers off as a “small minority”, it won’t make it true.

They need to take on board the fact that it is *they* who are the minority, and no amount of self-righteous indignation will change that fact.

jamboree
You two seem very certain of your polls. What polls? Social media polls? Website polls? If those are any gauge we’d have a Labour election landslide and a Green MP on the Island. I don’t know how you can make such sweeping statements about who is in the minority. If there was a Island referendum on the subject I’d have no idea how it would turn out.… Read more »
Tim
The first polls were conducted by AFLAG in the 1990s, this indicated that 83% of islanders were against a fixed link, more recently there have been things like parliamentary petitions, County Press and social media polls, all indicating that public opinion is now heavily in favour of a fixed link. As you rightly say a referendum would be better but first we need the feasibility study to… Read more »
Suruk the Slightly Miffed
It’s not really a case of it being a goose that lays any kind of golden egg as far as our tourism industry is concerned. My support for it is purely as someone who lives and works here but has to make trips to the mainland for various reasons. It’s not a question of price, either. The problem is that, over the last 15 or so years,… Read more »
Colin

But you haven’t allowed for the broken down lorry in the middle of the tunnel.

Suruk the Slightly Miffed

Rolls eyes:

Is that the best you can come up with?

A broken down lorry?

Something that is no more likely to happen in a tunnel than on the boarding ramp of a ferry.

Colin

Didn’t that happen at Portsmouth not long ago?

Colin

But I don’t want to come from Oxford.
I am coming from Exeter and going to Totland. How will that be quicker than the Yarmouth ferry and how many extra miles will I have to travel?

Suruk the Slightly Miffed

Then, Colin, you will still have the option of the Yarmouth ferry if you want to use it.

bocca

You have alko not allowed for the caravan on its roof on the A34, but I understand what you mean. depending on where a tunnel were to go it might add on 30/40 minutes to my journey so saving no time

Colin

Just the one “l” thank you. The other one is a dictionary.

Colin

Suppose there was a tunnel for road traffic. This may be in excess of 5 miles long. How are those in the middle going to breathe with all the exhaust fumes?

Suruk the Slightly Miffed

Seriously?

Search for the Lærdal Tunnel (it’s 15 miles long, by the way)

Broken down lorries and “how are people going to breath”?

Seriously?

Colin

Ok I will have a look for it later when I’m going to Ryde. Is it anywhere near there?

Yes, I asked the question how are people going to breath(e). What’s the answer?

Suruk the Slightly Miffed
Read about the Lærdal Tunnel (it’s in Norway, since you ask). Most articles on it describe it’s ventilation system which, due to its length is rather sophisticated. The Isle of Wight tunnel is more likely to use the same system as the 4 mile Hindhead tunnel, which uses fans mounted above the traffic. Most of the time, though, they won’t need to be used as the movement… Read more »
iowdave

Oh, Colin. Do you believe that the breathing problems have not been overcome in all other tunnels around Britain and the rest of the world.
If you are still worried about such problems, stick to the ferries.

Colin
Instead of trying to belittle a questioner, why don’t you answer the question? What is the vetilation system to be used? When the traffic is backed up in the tunnel due to roadworks somewhere near the tunnel exits either end, how will this affect the ventilation? How often is traffic at a standstill on the mainland? How often is there a queue down the racecourse backed up… Read more »
Suruk the Slightly Miffed
Colin, are you being deliberately obtuse? Answers *have* been given to the question you asked about ventilation. Read them. You can even find videos online of the 4 mile Hindhead tunnel’s ventilation system being tested. As far as traffic is concerned? Traffic through the fixed link will be constant, as opposed to up to 140 cars being chucked off a ferry in one go at Fishbourne (the… Read more »
Colin

You call that answers? oh dear.

Never mind, when you don’t know just resort to burying your head in the sand.

Perhaps if more questions had been asked then the floating bridge wouldn’t be such a disaster.

See also PFI Island Roads.

And PTEC at St. Catherines.

Never mind it will all be alright. Not.

Suruk the Slightly Miffed

You are quite obviously trolling now, Colin. Answers were given as well as information for you to follow up.

Best you get back under your bridge before the goats arrive.

Steve Goodman
Another argument is worth presenting. Starting with Colin’s concern, linked to the price we pay to breathe air poisoned by volumes and types of toxins from our transport and other poor choices we should not have allowed to become routine, I’m reminded that councillors and everyone else interested in Island ‘Regeneration, Planning, Housing and the Environment’, ‘keen to engage with the fixed link debate’, and wanting ‘to… Read more »
Steve Goodman
While we are waiting for most of the people in power to use our money more responsibly and to recognise that subjects like the FL are too ‘Titanic deck chair rearranging’ to matter much when the suicidal bigger picture is being ignored, we have again been reminded that we can – we must- do more to save our limited money and resources. As reported within the last… Read more »
Colin
Couldn’t agree more Steve. All these journeys are damaging the planet. Time for these people travelling regardless of the cost to the planet need to think again. I think we should all be given carbon miles allowance. Once you have used it, that’s it. Tough. There could be a trading system whereby people could trade their allowance. I would be able to sell mine as I use… Read more »
Suruk the Slightly Miffed

Cancellations on Wightlink’s Yarmouth to Lymington service again this morning.

Suruk the Slightly Miffed

Just in on the IWCP website:

**”CREW shortages have forced Wightlink to cancel some of its Portsmouth to Fishbourne sailings.
The ferry firm will be running a revised timetable from tomorrow (Saturday) until Monday. “**

While Wightlink (in particular) continue to demonstrate that they couldn’t organise a party in a brewery the calls for a fixed link will only grow.

iowdave

Yes, I’ve just been informed that my return sailing has been cancelled due to Crew shortages. Surely they cannot mean lack of bookings (sarcastic comment). Bring on the link.

Suruk the Slightly Miffed
Monday 17th August 2017: Red Funnel running an hour late due to “technical issues” (so that’s two and a half hours to get from Southampton to Cowes today (turn up at the port 1/2 hour before scheduled departure as required, only to find there is an hour delay. An hour sat in your car followed by another hour on the ferry, plus however long it takes to… Read more »
Rockhopper

They know a month early – that´s impressive!! Plenty of notice then, and time to make alternative plans….. ;)

block8

Tuesday 18th July. 1600 hours.

Hindhead tunnel closed both ways due to a vehicle fire.

Suruk the Slightly Miffed
And your point is? It was cleared up so quickly that there is very little mention of it on local news sites. Unlike the gridlock caused by yet another “technical issue” on the ferries. *My* point is that those people squealing “what happens if there is an accident in the tunnel” appear to be completely blind to the fact that massive delays can, and do occur, with… Read more »
block8

Just stating a fact.

Strange concept to you?

Suruk the Slightly Miffed

Sorry?

Were you replying to me?

wpDiscuz