This campaign to achieve fast, affordable, 24-hour cross Solent FREEDOM for islanders and visitors, has been continuing since 2014. It has been exhaustive, battling against two powerful and unregulated ferry companies that control many regional institutions, councils, businesses and politicians.
The Campaign aims are for:
1- Solent Freedom Tunnel studies to be undertaken and if concluded viable and positive – then constructed. The Solent Tunnel project is believed to be financially self sustaining through toll structures and regional economic uplift, providing capacity for decades to come.
2- The Medina Crossing vehicle / cycle bridge 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- The Immersed tube pedestrian subway under the Medina River at Cowes, replacing the chain ferry to offer 24-hour, reliable connectivity. The subway project may need government financial input, but the increased tax revenue from the subsequent economic recovery may offset that investment. Pro-Link believes the pedestrian tunnel should be free to use, with capital costs potentially offset by income from advertising space and income from the vehicular Medina crossing. At present the £3.2million chain ferry has lost over £10million since 2016, while operating sporadically.
All three campaign projects are believed to embrace and align with the swift moving evolution of clean, electrically powered vehicles with future autonomy capabilities. Just as the faster and more efficient motor car replaced the horse and cart within a 10-15 year period a hundred years ago, the motor car is going to be replaced by the faster, more efficient and technologically superior electric pedal bicycles, motorbikes, HGV’s and cars, within a similar period and scale. Autonomy capabilities will provide cheap public transport from door to door. Seamless personal and public transport is expected within the next 10-15 years (2030-35). The logistics of booking an unreliable and often cancelled ferry across the Solent, along with the waiting loading and unloading, will be an even bigger deterrent to tourism, business, inward investment and social mobility. 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.
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’. 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:
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?
The reasons are becoming more profound as the islands population rises…
3. Is there a Tunnel plan?
YES. Bridges and sub sea tunnels have been built worldwide, traversing distances far greater than that of the Solent.
4. Has a study been arranged for an IOW Fixed Link?
YES. Expert industry consultants ‘ARUP’ have offered to perform a ‘viability’ study… READ MORE
5. What is obstructing progress?
The MP is:
The MP is obstructing progress. All cross Solent operators have for over more than 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.
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.
7. What is ‘PRO-LINK’?
The Pro-Link ‘Association’ was set up by islanders – Carl Feeney (Chair) and friend Kevin Price in 2015.
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?
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.
11. So what has happened to East Cowes now Red Funnel have demolished its Waterfront?