If you believe your personal life living on the island, would be effected either positively or detrimentally by a fixed link, please leave your opinions below?
10: Raven Rose Lyness;
“I used to commute to Highbury college in Portsmouth for 2 years. I loved having the escape from the island, because with the way that it is with the ferries I find it way too constrictive. However commuting was tough going, because to get in to college for 9am we had to leave the house at 7am-7:15 to catch the 7:45 ferry, that got me in around 8:05 just in time for the 8:20 train from Portsmouth Harbour which got me into Cosham for 8:40. Then had to walk from the station (10 minute walk roughly). Roughly an hour n half there/3 hour round trip. To put that into perspective, that’s the same sort of time driving from Portsmouth to Birmingham. Over 2 years we spent roughly £2500 on ferries and trains between 2008-2010. That was all because the schools on the island were badly affecting me mentally and also because Isle of Wight college didn’t offer the course I needed for my career. But what happens to those who are in that same boat, where they need to go to college but can’t aspire to do what they want with their lives because the courses aren’t available here on the island? It’s denying people a proper education. No wonder our education pass rates are some of the worst in Hampshire, young people on the island have nothing to aspire to.
Also in terms of employment, in my own experience, there isn’t much here to start with and what’s worse, many mainland employers actually discriminate against people from the island. I’m looking to go back to the mainland (I’m sick of this island quite frankly) and the amount of persuasion you need to do with mainland employers for them to even consider you is insane. Naturally it’s because of 2 reasons: 1) the ferries. Not only is it the cost or the times of the ferries, which are contributing factors, but the likeliness of ferries running say in bad weather is a big issue for mainland employers. If there’s a storm and you need to get to Portsmouth for work say and hover travel and wightlink cat have stopped, you have to get yourself from Ryde to Fishbourne then on to the 40 minute long car ferry, if they’re running to schedule. That would be at least an hours delay. How many employers do you honestly know that would put up with that? Not many, not when joe blogs who lives in Southsea could probably walk there quicker.
The second reason is on the island we have very short employment contracts, mostly seasonal or temporary. In my recent job seeking that has hindered me greatly even though I’ve still been working here and there. Employers from the mainland want to see long term continuity. However island employment, where there is some, doesn’t usually offer that.
It’s incredibly frustrating.
Therefore we need that fixed link because if we don’t have the resources here and we don’t have the money to get the correct infrastructure, then we need to find these facilities elsewhere with quick and easy access.”
9: Terry Hicks
On 10 Aug 2015
Not too sure here whether you’re asking for actual incidents only which have created problems of travel or aspects of restriction of movement? Anyway I thought to keep it brief I’ll list as more of a bullet point presentation:
1) I have a son who is high on the autistic spectrum and is in care in Cornwall. We would love to see him more often than once or twice a year, but ferry costs prevent that. Also restricts him coming here too.
2) We have other children in Hampshire whom we don’t see as often as possible due to ferry costs.
3) My income is affected directly by tourism and what they spend here. Due to ferry costs that have managed to dwindle visitor numbers over the years thus affecting my income.
4) I used to visit the mainland as part of my work as a sales agent, the ferry costs have grown as much as to make this unviable.
5)Due to not only high ferry costs but a poor service, any chance of mainland evening entertainment means either a stopover(unaffordable)or coming back early.
6) Buying things online has also affected us as many companies flag up a default answer that they won’t deliver to the IOW or else they slap on some ridiculous charge.
7) The general aspect of in the 21st century seems to be available to most of the UK apart from the IOW….why?
Carl, I don’t know if any of this is helpful but I hope it is.
I’m also currently waiting for an answer from A.Turnip MP.
I posted on the IOW council suggestions board too in the hope of getting a response.
The Tram man seems to be pushing his infrastructure plans…I noticed he had a pitch at the Chale show.
All the best
8: Debbie Simms
On 10 Aug 2015
Please could you champion either a fixed link to the mainland or reasonable priced ferry fares.
I had to help my daughter move from one flat to another and needed a day return to do this. Going over at the crack of dawn wasn’t too bad this was 30 something pounds but coming back on the same day in the evening was 81 pounds.
I cannot understand how they can change prices when it suits them.
On the fixed link referendum face book page someone put that they were recently quoted £640 for a period return its ridiculous.
Look at the businesses that have closed down, many of the youngsters have to move of the island for jobs ( my two included) the council moan about the social welfare bill , caring for the elderly etc but what can they expect this place will end up as a retirement island.
Surely with all the consumer laws there must something that can prevent the ferry companies blatantly ripping customers off.
Please try and put something forward to save this lovely island
7: Malcolm Alder Smith
On 13 Aug 2015
Please see below my letter regarding cross Solent transport.
My business need for efficient and effective cross Solent transport
Independent Thermomix Demonstrator
UK Commercial Team
I retired from full-time employment in August 2014 at the age of 65. Since that time, I have started up my own part-time business working in conjunction with Thermomix UK, an international global brand of kitchen equipment for the Hospitality Sector.
My business has moved forward positively over the first 12 months and my working week is usually divided on a 70/30 split of mainland/island business. Each trip to the UK mainland requires me to use a car ferry.
I work on a commission basis, so the more units I sell, the more profit I make – it’s as simple as that. Obviously selling more product on the island provides me with a higher percentage of income per sale, however my business could not exist without the higher level of trade which I generate on the mainland, primarily across the South of England.
I usually use Red Funnel whenever I can, as I can benefit from the Special Offers that they appear to run throughout the year, when I can usually cross for around £36.50. The price in 2014 was £33.50, so we were subject to a circa 10% increase in Spring 2015. I usually cross on average around 6 times per month.
I am happy to pay the current fares to cross the Solent with Red Funnel (WightLink are considerably more expensive) and would be happy to pay an equivalent or similar amount to use a Fixed Link Tunnel to cross to the mainland.
I am very concerned about continued increases in fares made by both car ferry operators and can see this potentially having a negative impact on my business in the future. However, what ‘costs’ me most money is the amount of my valuable time it takes to get over and back to and from the mainland, which ever ferry I use. Red Funnel for example is usually 30-45 minutes marshalling and loading time, 60 minutes to cross and 15 -20 minutes to unload in both directions. Rounded up/down this equates to around 4 hours of my time spent on a return crossing to Southampton. Even if I only costed my time at lowly £10 per hour, you can easily see that £240 in my time is totally dead money on the average month. With a Fixed Link option, the cost in my time would be slashed.
Car travellers have to be very cute when booking with either operator. I can usually calculate my return ferry departure time back to the island quite accurately, however on most occasions, I take the precaution of booking on the ‘next’ ferry departure, because as I have found out to my discomfort, missing your ferry due to heavy traffic etc., is no guarantee of getting on the next ferry.
The advantages of a Fixed Link Crossing to my business are obvious. Turn up, pay up and cross; 24/7, 365, no booking, no queuing, no missed ferries, no cancellations due to ‘operational reasons’, no cancellations due to mechanical failures, no exorbitant peak seasonal hikes in ferry fares, no queues up to Osborne House or Binstead or into Central Portsmouth as happened recently. A steady, uninterrupted flow of traffic into (and out of) a well-planned island infrastructure would, I am certain, provide both islanders and mainlanders alike with the opportunity to travel at a time of their choosing without the gross inconvenience that is the status quo.
Time saving would help provide me the opportunity to increase my office time, thus enabling me to generate additional income both here on the island and the mainland. My income is primarily spent on the Isle of Wight. Additional income would enable me and my family to eat out more often and spend more of our hard earned income in local shops to support local island businesses.
Car ferry transport to cross the Solent has become an uncontrollable corporate duopoly. Businesses and the public alike are facing an uncertain future with both ferry companies openly threatening to withdraw or reduce services. The crossing has become unaffordable for many and what has for the duration of my lifetime been a given, is today starting to feel like a threat to all who live on or wish to visit the island for whatever reason.
6: Gwyn and Greg Wilson
On 10 Aug 2015
For over 20 years my husband either worked overseas or on the British mainland and throughout that time (and still applies today) the ferry services to and from the Isle of Wight have hindered our travel. He travelled daily for over 10 years to Portsmouth and due to timetables and excessive parking charges had to leave his car in a residential road in Ryde, cycle to the end of the Pier, take his bike across on the Catamaran, cycle to the dockyard, then his return journey would be,cycle from the dockyard to the Portsmouth car ferry, arriving at Fishbourne, having to cycle to Ryde to pick up his car as the Catamaran was no longer running a late service. This antiquated level of service greatly impacted on our home life and his actual time at home was greatly diminished resulting in a poorer quality of life. A fixed link would alleviate this.
We now still find ourselves feeling the impact of the stranglehold the ferry companies have on us due to living on this island. Our daughters work and live in London. They occasionally visit, but frequently state that it is due to the cost and poor levels of service that they do not visit more frequently. We too feel the same about visiting them. We have to constantly look out for the cheapest method of escaping from this island whilst considering the timings of setting off and arriving. A fixed link would alleviate this…..
Gwyn and Greg Wilson
5: Claire Black
On 10 Aug 2015
Both my son and my husband have to visit Southampton Hospital on a regular basis.
My son on average is once a month for an injection for his Systemic Arthritis, the company who makes the drug will not allow it to go to St. Mary’s hospital for me to pick up and administer myself (which I am trained to do) because of the cost of the unlicensed drug.
He needs this drug every month as all other drugs that he has used have failed to keep his disease under control so we have no choice but to take him, if he needs to see his consultant or have a scan on his bones or spine then it’s another extra appointment, it’s not unheard of for us to have to go over 3 times in the month.
4: Joe Siggins
On 3 Apr 2015
Is there a petition that people can sign to ask the government or the EU to get a fixed link to the Island. I was born on the Island but increasingly have to work on the mainland. I am sick of the extortionate ferry prices for being an Island resident just trying to make a living. I am currently working in Southampton and have to pay £21.60 per day to get to work. When I asked if they do a 5 day weekly ticket I was told they do not do one only a 7 day one? A lot of people work from Monday to Friday and are totally taken for granted by Red Funnel. Wightlink are no better.
A few years ago I got together with some other people that work on the mainland, we asked if a priority lane could be sorted out funded by Island residents that worked on the mainland, after numerous e-mails & telephone calls we were told that if we did not like Wightlink’s service we should not use it!!! Like we had a choice!!!
Sorry to go on a bit but I feel very strongly about this subject.
3: Mike Ingram
On 10 Aug 2015
Why do i need a Fixed Link.
My situation may be different to many, it is family not business related and ferry travel is almost the worst part of our lives.
My father is 84 and a double amputee (legs), he now suffers from an almost total lack of motor skills and is reliant on my mother, myself and sister for his care. My mother is 78, i am 57 and my sister 54. we also have a 50 year old brother but his health problems mean that he can not help with my fathers care. My wife and i returned from Spain almost 6 years ago so that i could become a part of my fathers care team. We receive no assistance apart from his catheter being changed approx every 6 weeks and maybe the district nurse to check he is not dead once a month for 10 mins. This is the system and we live with it, he is our family and our responsibility.
Boring i know but i feel that some background is required. I have not worked for the time that i have been back in the UK and receive NO government benefits, my wife works in Kent and London as a live in carer so that she can support me financially to allow me to do what i do for my father. We live with the fact that the wife is away from home, 47 weeks last year.
Where then does the ferry affect my life ? well the wife carries her life and equipment with her and she can move job to job every 2 weeks, though we try very hard to make her bookings longer. When she changes jobs i have to go and collect her and take her to her next appointment, her family are also in Rugby, her mother, 2 children and one grandchild, so we try to gap her work so that she can at least have 1/2 a day with them. Obviously my only way to get to the wife is to take a ferry. This is something that we can rarely budget for as there is no pricing structure other than “we will charge what we like”. Yes there can be voucher prices, but they are becoming less useful due to the way that Red Funnel have changed what they offer this year. So while 1 booking may be £36.50 because i can do a day return the next one could be £60.00 or much worse. The side effect has been that the more the prices rise the more that the wife has to stay away. There is also the fact that last year i was told on at least 7 occasions that i would have to pay extra to get on a half empty ferry because i was an hour early due to excellent road and driving conditions and i had done a 350 mile round trip an hour quicker than i expected. that said they offer me No compensation when the regularly sail late or cancel. my crossings are always with red funnel as Wight Links prices are completely out of reach on most occasions.
Last year my wife and i spent less than 20 days together, and 7 of those were on holiday. I have to put too much time aside when travelling because of the Red Funnel timetable as i need to leave home at 06.45 to do what should be a maximum 2 hour journey into Kent. with the use of the ferry i have to put 5 hours aside to do this journey. this puts extra responsibility for my fathers care on other family members.
I have tried to put this in a way that is understandable to all, i am not looking for sympathy just the freedom to travel at prices and times that fit my life.
I hope that this can be of use to our objective of getting a fixed link built. thanks for taking the time to read it.
2: Dawn Mace
On 10 Aug 2015
Our Family would love a fixed link / cheaper ferrys for so many reasons..
A lot of our family live on the mainland and always use to visit monthly sadly costs have got stupid and some we only see once a year now ..we lived on mainland years ago and visited monthly but can’t remember being shocked by prices like we are now and we didn’t have that much spare income then.. Give people the choice if they want to stay or leave the island when they want .
Most importantly is the health care on the island we are not getting the service here due to lack of doctors wanting to commute here..
My grand daughter has to go to hospital every week..they cannot afford the cost of this but have no choice..the time they take too for a 10 minute appointment as well as a day off work ..he now has to work 6 days a week to cover this extra cost so his only day off is now spent going to Southampton .. A 1 pm appointment means they have to get 10.30 am ferry to arrive there on time .. 30 min before ferry leaves so they leave home before 9.30am and don’t get home till at the earliest 4 pm this is for just 10 mins in hospital and costs at least £50 each and every week ..MADNESS …
My daughter had meningitis and encephalitis and nearly died because of poor care and she needed to get to mainland hospital..
I have had several rare strokes and a bleed on the brain with on going problems I need to see a neurologist well the Island doesn’t have one so I wait months to see the one that visits from mainland and have to make visits to Southampton at huge cost and time ..
I waited 7 months for a MRI now still waiting over 3 months for another MRI ..
The frustration is unbelievable..
Having a fixed link would give us choice ..time ..and less cost which we cannot afford ..
THE CHOICE TO COME AND GO WOULD GIVE PEOPLE FREEDOM OF CHOICE ……For the future of the Island too..
Dawn Mace ..
1: Joe Bolton
On 13 Aug 2015
Hi I’m emailing in regard to your post to explain how we’ve been effected by ferries or how a fixed link would help.
Being only 26 and living on the island since I was ten, the largest problem I’ve had is work. While I haven’t been out of employment since 17 I have earn significantly less than I would do else where, with the cost of living jot being cheap here its difficult. So I am training in a new field so I can earn more money but doing research I’d struggle to earn money on the island. Which would see me either commute which would cripple me or move which is the most likely.
Also I used to go to the mainland every month at least to see live musicians but with the rising ferry costs, the poor timetables and the risk of canceled ferries. I usually don’t bother now as it’s a lot more hassle.
I love the island and I’ve worked in the tourism industry since I was 15 if seen the decline we’ve had. I put this down to extortionate ferry prices and the councils lack of investment into the island.
On a side not, I was coming back to the island on the midnight wightlink car ferry last week and was talking to a lady who came here to work the season in bembridge coast hotel. She explained this was her first and probably going to be her last season as getting to the island was so difficult. She travelled from Yorkshire by train and had no issues. The only problem occurred when she waited so long for ferries and had to pay for a taxi to get to bembridge as public transport is non existent at night.
I hope some of this goes to help in a way. I do think my fiancee and myself will leave the island within the next 18 months to peruse careers with more opportunities, I’d much rather be here but I don’t think we could live the life we want to here. That being said. If a fixed link came and it was fiesable we would come straight back as we both love the island.
Facebook name Joe Ramsey Bolton – I only join in a few debates because I get so passionate that it gets frustrating.