No IOW MP or COUNCIL has ever asked for a Fixed Link Study… but why Not?
The Isle of Wight ex MP – Andrew Turner, had all through his tenure, been an opponent of a fixed link even though letters had been sent to him by many individuals over a long period of time, requesting his reasoning for his opposition to a fixed link, which would enable islanders and businesses the freedom of cheaper, 24 hour, 365 day travel. His generic letters in reply, state that if a fixed link were to be constructed, he believes the island would lose its “uniqueness”. After some 16 years of failure to control or regulate the ferry companies, he softened his stance to include a fixed link option. Though he resigned in May 2017, his statement to the IOW Transport Infrastructure Taskforce made in October 2017 can be read ……Here
It could be considered that job preservation could have been a motivation for his previous stance….in elections the elderly had been more prolific voters than the young. Elderly retirees have in the past, been seen as keen on keeping the island isolated. This situation appears to have changed recently, with many elderly residents effected by getting to mainland healthcare treatments, which are not now available on the island.
The ex MP did get involved in an attempt to set up a community interest company to buy out Wightlink – this was to have been accomplished through the “Better ferry Campaign”. It has been proven since, that this plan is unfeasable. Wightlink has now been sold by Australian Maquarie Bank to Balfour Beatty for an undisclosed sum.
The MP however, while admitting that the lack of a cross Solent physical link is causing island failures, only talks of looking at the problems of cross Solent transport at election time as has the new MP – Bob Seely… but they offer no realistic solutions. It appears that the subject of creating a cross Solent Fixed Link would create far too much work and disruption for the MPs, the IOW Council and of course……. the IOW ferry companies, so it has not been seriously tackled… until now at least by the IOW Council.
Wording from the 1998 Fixed Link Feasibility study
The MP and ex Leader of the IOW Council both admit that restricted links across the Solent causes IOW deprivation….
This is an extract of the letter dated 30th January 2015 from and signed by, at the time the MP Andrew Turner and the ex leader of the Isle of Wight Council….Jonathan Bacon, to the Rt Hon John Hayes MP, the previous minister of State for transport:
“The Isle of Wight has a fragile economic base and the work of the infrastructure task force will be central and helping the economy to become more robust. Despite the best attempts of the Isle of Wight Council and the local community to re-balance the economy ….read more
The IOW Council refused to discuss the Fixed Link Proposal…. Why?
Despite the fixed link subject being on the discussion agenda for many island based businesses and institutions, the Isle of Wight Council had not responded. Initially at the beginning of the campaign, a small “Fixed Link Prospectus” was developed by PRO-LINK, printed as a booklet and given to the “Association of Independent Councillors” at a meeting with PRO-LINK. On the 17th March 2015, this prospectus was displayed at a “Riverside Centre” council meeting, where a fixed link presentation and debate ensued… mostly very positive….. Read More
We asked the IOW Council to support a Fixed Link Study in a Full Public Session….. what did they say?
On Wednesday 15th of June, Kevin Price represented PRO-LINK asking the same question to Full Council Committee in public session. The background explanation and the simple question had been pre-submitted to the Council some days before so that the Council would have time to prepare an answer….Read More
We asked individual IOW Councillors to support a Fixed Link Study…. what did they say?
On May 17th 2016, an email was sent to all councillors on this list. The email was to advise the councillors of PRO-LINKS‘ campaign and to ask each one whether they would support having an independent Fixed Link Study commissioned, should it be offered?…..Read More
The now discredited ‘Inner Circle’ Consulting (ICC) – IOW Regeneration Programme…. what did it say?
During August 2016, the Isle of Wight Council commissioned ‘Inner Circle Consulting’ (ICC) to produce a Regeneration Programme and have now employed an “IOW Regeneration Director” at £98,096 and his assistant at £77,110 per annum plus benefits to continue.
The scope of this commission included looking at Island data and identifying potential development projects.
PRO-LINK believes that this ICC document is seriously flawed ….Read More