Team behind Fixed Link campaign reveal their solution. You might be surprised

There’s been a recent surge of interest in the discussion around a Fixed Link for the Isle of Wight. Here’s the just-launched details of the solution that the team behind the Fixed Link Referendum Facebook page have come up with.

Fixed link team - Cross Solent idea logo - large 2

The two businessmen behind the Isle of Wight Fixed Link Referendum Facebook group, Carl Feeney and Kevin Price, have today launched their proposed plans for a Solent Tunnel.

The plans reveal a 20.9km tunnel with a road for two-way traffic, a monorail train line, a service lane, as well as room for telecommunication cables and utilities.

Click on image to see larger vesion
Plans for the Solent Tunnel

Referendum alongside General Elections
A Website presenting the plans suggest a Referendum on a fixed link could be tacked onto polling during the General Election in May 2015.

Those behind the plan say,

“We are hoping that with this plan or evolved plan, that a fair and democratic referendum will be held in conjunction with the May general election to decide whether Islanders want to be free from total ferry reliance, or if they feel the ferries are the way to continue with no alternative?”

Monorail through the tunnel and beyond
The proposed terminals would be in Arreton on the Isle of Wight and on greenfield land to the immediate West of Tichfield Abbey on the mainland.

Click on image to see larger vesion
Solent Tunnel - in out portals shown on map

Plans include the Monorail to continue beyond the tunnel on the Isle of Wight, linking Arreton to Newport, Cowes, Ryde, Brading, Sandown and stopping short at Shanklin (what about Ventnor?).

Click on image to see larger vesion
Solent Tunnel - Monorail map

Costs and concerns
Potential income from the tunnel is outlined on the Website, with details of how much it might cost to use for domestic and freight transport.

Many of the concerns raised during the debate on Facebook have been addressed on the Website and those behind the plan invite readers to register and leave their feedback.

For more information visit the Solent Tunnel Website.

Image: © Used with the kind permission of Solent Tunnel

Tuesday, 25th November, 2014 1:14pm

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

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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23 Comments on "Team behind Fixed Link campaign reveal their solution. You might be surprised"

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Colin

Fabulous.

And the money for this is coming from where exactly?

Did you ask the Arreton village residents about this? No. Ah well…

Cynic

Perhaps the tunnel portal could be on the greenfield site now authorised by a Bristol-based “Inspector” for housing development? It would be a lovely irony given the water problems that site suffers being at the base of a sharp escarpment, turning it into a multi-billion drainage tunnel! :-))

John

As an April fool joke this would be non-believable! Perhaps the line could be extended from Arreton International to Cherbourg!

Mason Watch

Total pipe dream (geddit!)
So the Arreton Valley gets shafted again quite literally. Can’t wait to see the traffic plan to sort this out

Jason
I’m all for the fixed link, but there’s quite a few flaws in this. Apart from the several kilometres of unnecessary and expensive tunnel, there’s the small matter of tunnels having to have traffic flow separated by a wall if the tunnel is over 400m in length, as per EU law. A central reservation in a tunnel would be utterly lethal. Shame, as there’s been some good… Read more »
George Gibson

Fawley-Northwood would work as a rail tunnel, with the Fawley-Totton line upgraded. A road tunnel would need the A326/B2053 upgraded and dualled all the way from the M27. Difficult to see how this is possible at certain points. The New Forest rather gets in the way, as do Marchwood, Hythe, Holbury and the Fawley refinery itself.

Jason

Also, full points to the team however for getting this onto the agenda – and hopefully they can drive for a referendum next year in conjunction with the election which would hopefully have the knock-on effect of actually getting people into polling stations on voting day.

Luisa Hillard
This tunnel appears twice as long as it needs to be, effectively doubling the cost. Based on the geology of the Island it would make sense to have the Island Portal on the North side of the chalk spine at a lower altitude than Arreton. For trains a portal near to Smallbrook Junction would make sense, with easy access onto the existing rail network, although I can… Read more »
derek

Luisa Hillard, it make not be to people’s liking but what has your Isle Of Wight Council come up with.

derek

It should read, it may not be to people’s liking

Robert Jones
Initial reaction is no, no, a thousand times no, I’d rather die than say yes…. A rail tunnel plus a road tunnel is a recipe for disaster even leaving the technical questions to one side: we couldn’t cope with the levels of traffic that this would generate (and I’m not in favour of building on greenfield sites, here or anywhere else, either). The prospect of being stuck… Read more »
Cynic

I seem to recall a similar monorail scheme being promoted some 10+ years ago!

Cynic

BTW it takes a very long time to create an unambiguous referendum question (some 10 years for a census question!,) so not likely to happen within the next 6 months in time for the election.

John Nash
Every now and then, the Skye bridge is offered as an example of how a fixed link can work. However, the Highlands and Islands present a totally different set of circumstances compared with the IOW. The Skye bridge links a remote Highland island community to an equally remote part of the Highlands. In many ways it links like with like. The same could be said for the… Read more »
Robert Jones
John Nash – I think that’s true, and the more I think about it, the truer it seems. We do get overlooked, a lot. When our opinions are sought, it’s so often an after-thought – they sort of notice us when we cough discreetly and remind them of our existence. However – over many years we’ve become a resort of second-home owners, and holiday-makers. Some of us… Read more »
rob sexton
I see alot of people picking holes in anything that is proposed by any person with an alternative to ferry travel from the island, and at the same time they complain about the costs of the current systems in place. It is so easy for people to complain about present and future ventures, my question is the effort we use to complain is so great if that… Read more »
Robert Jones

I think what they – we – are doing is not so much picking holes as analysing a proposal, and incidentally asking a) where the money for the proposal is going to come from, b) questioning what those behind it seek to gain from it.

Perhaps when we know the answer to b), matters will become a little clearer.

siestag

rubbish, just reel in the votes and then bring out the real, much cheaper plan. Personally this sort of condescending crap puts me right off the idea.

ThomasC
Unfortunately this sort of fantasy does nothing for the credibility of a fixed link proposition. We need as low-cost, pragmatic solutions as possible to get us able to travel when we want, at a lower cost than that foisted upon us by ferries companies. The Island won’t become a conurbation of anything – the protection of AONB and the many SSSIs AND planning policy sees to that.… Read more »
Cynic
@ThomasC “The Island won’t become a conurbation of anything – the protection of AONB and the many SSSIs AND planning policy sees to that.” Perhaps past decisions over greenfield development in Arreton and elsewhere on local and national the Island might make some question the efficacy of that protection? While a fixed link has an upside of better connection to/from the mainland, it also has downsides that… Read more »
mittromneylovesiow

List of demands for the new tunnel:-

Cats eyes
Any motorist doing 20mph or less barred…
A Starbucks halfway – we need coffee shops.
A gym next to Starbucks with a boxing ring so that the Tories can sort out their dirty washing once and for all.
A periscope to watch Wight Sky crossing to Portsmouth.

W

The monorail is a distraction that will do the cause of a fixed link no good – focus on one goal, the link!

Carl Feeney

Very interesting reading these comments one year on from the initial fixed link website. A new website to be released early 2016 will take into consideration all comments, although Starbucks halfway through the tunnel may not be considered…. sorry, prefer Costa :0)