The PRO-LINK Campaign for an Isle of Wight Fixed Link.


This campaign aims to achieve fast, affordable, 24-hour cross Solent FREEDOM of movement –  continuing since 2014. It has been exhaustive, battling against two unregulated and influential ferry companies that control many regional institutions, councils, businesses and politicians. At times, it feels like taking on the mafia.

The Campaign aims are for three fixed links:

1- Solent Freedom Tunnel studies to be undertaken and if concluded viable and positive – constructed. The Solent Tunnel project is believed to be profitable for investors and local government – more than just financially self sustaining through £250million pa toll structures plus regional economic uplift, providing unit capacity for the future. 

2- A Medina Crossing vehicle / cycle bridge or barrage between Fairlee Road and Stag Lane to relieve congestion in Newport and speed up East – West island connectivity. The Medina Crossing is believed to be financially self sustaining through tolls and localised economic uplift. 

  3- An Immersed tube pedestrian subway under the Medina River at Cowes, replacing the chain ferry to offer 24-hour, unstaffed reliable connectivity. 

 Pro- Link believes the island must act now to prepare for the future. All three projects are believed to have majority public support – Solent Fixed Link support is confirmed by all independent polls and surveys since 2015.



Who has spearheaded the campaign?

Pro-Link campaign chair – Carl Feeney entered the 2019 General Election purely to promote the Solent Freedom Tunnel solution. He gained the highest ‘Independent vote’ from three. The election was a UK landslide victory for the well funded Conservative Party, centred primarily on Brexit. click video

1. Is the Tunnel viable? 

Absolutely… yes. However, Red Funnel and Wightlink are desperate to stop the viability study. Their share prices will collapse on the go-ahead.

Take a look at what other islands are doing to improve their economies and lifestyles. Click photo to watch the short video:

Check out the direct viability comparison between the direct Faroe islands and the Isle of Wight … HERE

The ferry companies and MP are obstructing the fixed link study so we’re having to crowd-fund for it. If you’d like to help, please go straight to the web page that explains how to do that…  HERE

As at December 2021, £29,000 has been raised. A total of £120,000 is required to start the study.

2. Why is an Isle of Wight Fixed Link required?


Red Funnel confirm they will have no more capacity by 2023… click photo or here to watch this 2015 Red Funnel video. Since this video was made, the ‘Red Kestrel’ vessel has been added into the route which transports just 12 HGV’s and 12 passengers (drivers). The route is now exhausted of capacity, with no more options.

The reasons are becoming more profound as the islands population rises…

Read More


IOW Fixed LINK is Feasible / solent freedom tunnel
Click photo to see the Solent Freedom tunnel plans.

YES. Bridges and sub sea tunnels have been built worldwide, traversing distances far greater than that of the Solent.

Read More

4. Has a study been arranged for an IOW Fixed Link?



YES. Global Industry consultants ‘ARUP’ have offered to perform a ‘viability’ study… READ MORE


5. What is obstructing progress?


At present, politicians are:

Bob Seely / Carl Feeney / Solent Freedom Tunnel
The MP – Bob Seely, does have ferry company interests, such as a cousin on the board of Red Funnel and his agent professionally lobbying for Wightlink.  He has been using his position to produce misleading false information, to help protect both Red Funnel and Wightlink from competition.



All cross Solent operators have for over 100 years immersed themselves into the island’s institutional and political ‘establishment’. They have the power and control to dictate financial and political favour to those who facilitate their best interests … which involves maintaining the status quo without competition.

Read More

6. Can the ferries be fixed?


Absolutely not. To confirm this, a GOVERNMENT E-PETITION was signed by 17,674 people to ask whether it is possible to regulate the IOW ferry companies specifically. Any talk of regulation has been confirmed as nonsense. However, to boost Red Funnel and Wightlink’s profits further, the companies are seeking to gain British taxpayer subsidies in the guise of lowering crossing prices.

Read More

7. What is ‘PRO-LINK’?


IOW RADIO FIXED LINK DEBATE … Click photo to listen. Carl Feeney has pushed hard since this programme in November 2014 with ‘Pro-Link’, trying to achieve radical travel improvements on and to the Isle of Wight.

The Pro-Link ‘Association’ was set up by islanders – Carl Feeney (Chair) and friend Kevin Price in 2015.

Read More

8. What is ‘Able Connections Ltd’?


‘Able Connections Ltd’ was set up as the medium with which to communicate with Hampshire Constituencies and wards. As individuals, Pro-Link is unable to communicate with a constituency or ward that is not in their own area, unless done through a third party Company. Without the Company to communicate through, no presentations to PUSH (Partnership for Urban South Hampshire would have been possible… nor the presentations to Portsmouth, Fareham, Winchester and Southampton Councils…  READ MORE


9. Do islanders actually WANT a fixed link?


YES. According to EVERY poll and survey carried out in the last five years, the conclusive majority do want a fixed link… and for many different reasons… READ MORE

10. Do mainlanders want the Solent Freedom Tunnel fixed link scheme?


IOW Council cabinet member for Transport – Ian Ward describes the mainland support for the Solent Freedom Tunnel… WATCH THE VIDEO

Yes… very much. Pro-Link and Able Connections Ltd, has consulted all relevant mainland administrations with regard to the scheme. Portsmouth, Southampton, Fareham and Winchester transport departments were consulted. Later, all regional leaders of councils within ‘PUSH’ (Partnership For Urban South Hampshire) were consulted. 

Read More


11. So what has happened to East Cowes now Red Funnel have demolished its Waterfront?



Click the photo to watch this excellent 47 minute video regarding the relationship between Red Funnel and East Cowes.



27 thoughts on “The PRO-LINK Campaign for an Isle of Wight Fixed Link.

  1. Terry Hicks

    A letter I’ve sent to
    Please feel free to use the content only would look better if you add your own feelings too.
    Dear Sir/Madam
    I would like to bring to your attention the dire situation that the people of the Isle Of Wight are facing.
    The island has a population in excess of 140,000 which makes it the largest constituency in the UK!With that in mind then surely we have a certain right to being heard and listened to from Parliament?OUr mp Andrew Turner I feel,is failing to make proper representation to The House about our situation and as to just how bad it is.
    Transport infrastructure is being talked about so much these days as a necessity for growth and maintaining services….the island is operating in reverse gear I feel and that surely has to stop!
    I was incensed recently when I read of the island of St Helena having huge amounts of money being poured in for an airport that can’t be used.Ridiculous!
    The IOW thankfully has a group of people who are trying to get our problems addressed by proposing that the island has a Fixed Link(
    For far too long now the island has effectively been held to ransom by the main two ferry operators Wightlink and Red Funnel,both owned by companies who use the island as a cash cow for their pension portfolios.There’s a moral and ethical aspect to this surely?
    What I’m asking for is that the islands predicament would be raised in Parliament in spite of our mp and in spite of our local council who seem to be too afraid to “disturb the waters”!
    I have spent over 44 years living on the island and for the sake of the future generations we need some hope and it is an urgent situation.Please consider this issue and I thank you in the hope of being listened to and a positive outcome in the vey near future.
    Yours sincerely,

  2. Did you know that if you or a loved one become extremely poorly for example a heart attack, they have to rely on a helicopter to transport them to a catheter lab for life saving treatment?
    Now if this helicopter is not available (and most of the time it isn’t) you or your loved one will have to be taken to St Mary’s and kept stable until an ambulance transfer is available to take you/them to the Queen Alexandra in Cosham to have treatment.
    Sadly and at no fault to any of the staff but St Mary’s is not equipped to deal with a lot of life threatening conditions.
    A fixed link will open up the way for an ambulance to have direct access to the life saving services we deserve.
    So I will leave it up to you, is your life or the lives of your loved ones worth the risk?

  3. I have Cystic Fibrosis. I have to go to Southampton every 3 months which costs over £50 each time and I have to take a day off work as it takes so long. If I could use my motorcycle and a tunnel it would only cost petrol and tunnel fee’s. Also I could be back at work in the afternoon with time to spare.

    Detractors say if you don’t like it move, so if you have get ill you have to move your entire family????

    The only sensible argument against is cost although I could see this being recouped if UK companies were used to build it.

    Time to move to the 21st century and stop the retired generation from pulling this island down with them.

  4. All for fixed link.

  5. My Father is terminally ill on the mainland. I want to spend as much time with him as possible, but the extortionate ferry fares makes this impossible, I just cannot afford it, and the increased fares during high seasons make it all the more impossible to afford travel. The journey time to see him is 3 hours, this could be cut right down with a drive through fixed link tunnel open 365 days a year. What does concern me is the lack of clarification on what it would cost to use a fixed link, I have heard as much as £20 each way which totally makes building it pointless as that is more expensive than some ferry fares.

    • Chris Sanders

      Hi Dee,

      Same problem but in reverse, my father is in a care home £400 plus for ferry and accom just for a long weekend to come over and see him on the Island

  6. I am for a fixed link. many of my friends and family are unable to afford to visit during the holidays due to the extortionate prices the ferry companies charge.. if they can charge £34 for a RETURN some days then they shouldn’t be able to get away with charging £180 for a SINGLE during peak season. islanders feel like they are prisoners held to ransom by red funnel and wightlink. Britain has a tunnel to France and it is still an Island and Isle of Wight would still be a island when we have a tunnel to the mainland. jobs are suffering &tourists are in decline. Even one of the main attractions Bestival have moved to the mainland because of declining numbers due to the ferry costs. Not to mention those the poor folk which are forced to fork out hundreds of pounds as they have to commute to the mainland for work because of lack of jobs here. A tunnel will only help the regeneration of this island in all aspects. please wake up people before this island collapses

  7. Laura stone

    I am for. The pros out way the cons by miles. This would be a huge help for my family’s life and no doubt for many others.

  8. Heather Coysh

    We need a tunnel desperately
    1. Our hospital is on black alert – most operations and procedures are being delegated to the mainland. I had a knee op recently and 7 return trips over paid for by the NHS nothing for my relatives for various checkups. The day of the operarion I was discharged from the hospital at 6pm, got home at 10.30pm because I missed the Wight link ferry by 3 min and I had to pay for my own car cost.
    2. The UK is joined to France by a tunnel and yet it remains an island. They have choices to get off – road, ferry, rail, air we have nothing. 125,000 people are being held to ransom by two ferry companies.
    There ferries are getting bigger and bigger and we have less and less sailings. 18 years ago you could get off the island every 30 minutes.
    3. no jobs – one of the worst black holes in the UK
    4. Our children all leave to find work or go to University on the mainland, seldom returning. Cost my two children and their partners £112.00 for one night – foot passengers to see me on my birthday. Christmas well two ferries WHAT AND WE ACCEPT THIS
    5. A caravan and car for the May bank holiday was quoted £295.00 return. They are not coming over going into Bournemouth after 20 years of coming to the IOW
    6. Our tourism is dying – Bestival being the most recent example.
    7. Postage to the island is very selective. Many couriers won’t post here at all. I support local shops but often the items are very very expensive ( Ferry costs) or there is nothing here. A small parcel posted on the mainland can be as cheap at £1.99 tracked, the IOW 3.65 and we only have Royal Mail.
    8. There is less and less for our young adults to do. The ice rink has closed, every club has closed – so what is left bars?
    9. If you want to see a show on the mainland you have to pay for a nights accommodation, all passenger ferries stop at 11pm RIDICULOUS
    10. And to cap it all our house prices are 25% less than the mainland.
    To sum up – we need another way to get off the island. We need choices.
    The council has an election in May I am going to propose to them that they hold a referendum a the same time to see if the residents on the island want a fixed link

  9. Henriette Burns

    there are too less choices, if we have to rely on a ferry, which offers less and less trips to the mainland

  10. William Burns

    its about time to join the rest of the world! The Isle of Wight desperately needs a tunnel for its economic positive future

  11. Henriette Burns

    I would like to have more possibilities and not to be reliant on the ferries, which give no opportunity to do some thing at night times

  12. Dear Pro Link

    I spotted this news item about the Stubbington bypass which could be used for an entrance in the Browndown area. If you scroll down you will see the route

    A tunnel close to the new road could link you up to junction 9 on the M27 with some road modification on the was there. In fact they are doing that now on the A27 at Titchfield

  13. For the future of the Isle of Wight and the residents and all of the young people who live here we must have change eg: a fixed link to the mainland and not be held to ransom by the ferry companies and their extortionate prices, IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE.!!!

  14. The quicker the better.

  15. We definitely need a direct link to the mainland!

  16. I am for a fixed link as apart from the usual moans about the ferries and my family living on the mainland, there is the threat of the government closing the prisons on the island. If this happens then the economy on the island would plummet. If there was a tunnel it would give easy access for those made redundant to get another job or travel to another prison on transfer. It would also help with the islands economy.

  17. Michele Mills

    I often feel like a prisoner, held to ransom by two ferry companies from a financial and freedom of travel perspective. If you need to go to the mainland (An island incidently) not only is it extremely expensive you are also restricted by their timetable, this is the 21st century people should be able to travel at will. Many companies won’t deliver to the island so even ordering furnishings etc are restricted. The island hospital is failing and the economy of the island is dying in front of us. HELP!! We need the fixed link the negatives of not solving the island’s issues will be the downfall of many!!

  18. Since my original post back in November,the islands situation has taken a further backward step with our local hospital being taken into “special measures”.
    This epitomises so much as to the general deterioration that is happening on the island and I’m convinced more than ever that THE ONE THING THAT CAN REVERSE THIS WOULD BE A FIXED LINK(TUNNEL).
    To oppose this with little reason is to further the cause of “let’s do nothing and see what happens”.
    There is no room for fence sitters or apathy.

  19. A tunnel is getting desperate our hospital is not able to service much any longer. Costing the NHS a fortune to send us over to see specialists.
    Our families are paying fortunes to visit and visa versa.
    No jobs..
    No entertainment for teenagers
    Ferries sailing lessons and less frequently.
    The list is enormous.

  20. The Island desperately needs a fixed link. The ferry companies have no right to charge excessive prices during the holiday periods. They are as bad as airlines. It costs no more for the ferry to go in August than December. We need to stop Red Funnel and Wightlink cashing in. Somebody is getting rich from this. The employment situation on the Island is dire. The Isle of Skye got a bridge a long time ago. Get on with it. The Islanders deserve an improved standard of life.

  21. Elaine Pearce

    Where would a tunnel go from and to?

  22. All very well having a fixed link but think of the jobs that will be lost and family’s affected ! All the local hauliers would no longer be required because mainland hauliers could do it themselves , where would all the island drivers have to go to find work? And at what cost! Our island roads are busy enough, could our island cope if people have free reign to come over as and when?!

  23. Stacey Collins

    My family comes from the Island. My father left the Island to seek out opportunity when he was in his early 20’s back in 1970. (there’s your first clue) My Uncle went with him; shortly followed by my Mum. As a result, they married and set up home on the mainland and I was born in Southampton. My childhood was made up of school holidays on the Island. I grew up as what I call a “caulkhead by proxy”. Even back then, it was expensive and my parents saved up to visit their families. I eventually moved to the Island in my late teens. However, I left again when I couldn’t find a job that would give me a career (if there’s only been a fixed link that was affordable)

    My family remain on the Island to this day and I visit regularly. My great aunt is now in her 90’s, my aunts and uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins and 3rd cousins all remain on our beloved Island. My parents and grandparents, great grandparents and so on are all buried there. I’d be there several times a week if I could, seeing family members, spending my money boosting the economy, I’d possibly buy another property.

    A fixed link would allow me to tend graves, visit relatives in need of my assistance – day and night. My family could visit me more easily and all for a lower cost I would hope. It would also create jobs. Businesses would see the Island as viable in a better way than it does today. Medical treatment would be more accessible if St Mary’s cannot deliver (I understand you are on black alert). Tourism wouldn’t slack….it would be boosted. People are put off by high ferry fares. Recently I paid £150 for a ferry (Cowes Week 2017) and spent £700 on hotels. I would have stayed longer perhaps without an extra £150 to find? To be truthful the money isn’t an issue for me, but for others it truly is – the Island needs its chains removed and Southampton wants to show some love to it’s little sister across the water along with the rest of Mainland UK. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 I am pro-fixed link and so should anyone who wants to see the Island flourish in years to come. The Island has an aging population and 25% of its children do not gain qualifications. 15% of people still claim a benefit of some sort – all reasons to create opportunity.

  24. I expect to get negative responses to this as I don’t live on the island but have been there every year on holiday and other occasions since being a child due to close family living there. My family are no longer there but we have continued because the island has been part of our lives. By coming to the island we bring our money which fuels the islands economy. Sadly due to the price of the ferry increasing we are now looking at other locations on the mainland. We have seen so many attractions close and it is becoming less attractive for a holiday. Tourism for an island is vital for its economy and a fixed link would secure this future and enable people to continue to enjoy this beautiful and amazing location. For islanders it would mean more competitive prices as the ferry cost would not be built into the shops costings, there would be better more reliable access to vital life saving medical services located on the mainland. Better response for serious situations requiring Emergency service support from the mainland. A fixed link can only be a benefit to everyone.

  25. With very few decent job opportunities and no universities here to carry on as we are with no fixed link is just not sustainable. It is of great concern when someone is taken poorly and has to be transferred to the mainland as time is of the essence. I am sick and tired of hearing old people complain about a fixed link when in their day jobs were plentiful. Also, people that move here and complain about a fixed link have no right to because they have taken into account affordability for THEIR personal circumstances, and they have made a conscious decision to move here. People who were born here or moved here when they were young do not have this choice because they have family here, and a move would mean hardly ever seeing their family due to the cost of getting on a ferry. Also, I am sick and tired of doing the same thing each time I take time off of work, wouldn’t it be lovely to just get in the car and go where you please. I do hope it wouldn’t cost Islanders any more than £20 a day in the Summer months.

    I really hope it happens, it will greatly increase the younger generations prospects.

  26. Miles Stuart

    I had to check that this crazy scheme was not an April Fool joke. After the repeated failure of the chain ferry in Cowes, and the unreliability of the Hovercraft, if this is the best that Island based organisations can manage, Red Funnel and Wightlink can rest easy.
    All Island politicians always get cheap support from IoW residents if they criticise the ferries, but I also know they have had special favours from the ferries in the past.

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