Isle of Wight Nostalgia site - Fixed Link to Mainland?
Tunnel Survey 2000
The following are responses were received from visitors to this site between 1st January 2000 and 30th June 2000. Readers were asked if they wished to see a tunnel linking the Isle of Wight to the mainland. The survey has confirmed last year's 'no' vote. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to vote.
|Results of 2000 on-line survey|
|Born on the island, living elsewhere||2||5|
|Holidaymakers / visitors||3||17|
|Selection of comments|
- No to a tunnel OR a bridge
- A resounding NO
- It will take the Isle out of the Isle of Wight
- Ferry is an important part of a holiday
- Look what they've done to the Isle of Skye!
- Spoil quality of life
- The moment they try it I'll be the one with the dynamite ready to blow it out of the water!!!!
- It would take away the magic
- There are better ways to spend that amount of money
- Yes - Improve job opportunities, increase tourism & reduce ferry fares
- As an Island race, being cut off is in our blood!
- Red funnel may be pirates but they're better than a bridge!
- Charm would be lost
- Ferries are an inconvenience
- Ferries are a civilised way to travel
- A tunnel is the only answer to the island's future
- Don't let it happen as I cannot afford to move to Jersey
Tunnel Survey - 1999
The following are responses were received from visitors to this site between 31st January 1999 and 15 April 1999. Readers were asked if they wished to see a tunnel linking the Isle of Wight to the mainland. The survey has demonstrated a strong 'no' vote for a tunnel from both holidaymakers and residents. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to vote.
|Results of 1999 on-line survey|
|IW residents (or ex-residents)||14%||50%|
|Holidaymakers / visitors||0%||17%|
|NO vote comments
- Definitely NO to any sort of fixed link.
- to build a tunnel would take away some of the 'mystique'.
- As an ex-Islander, I think it would bring too many unwelcome visitors.
- A tunnel will spoil the beautiful scenery of the Isle.
- The Island will become like the rest of the overcrowded South Coast.
- NO - an Island is part of the attraction.
- No - keep the Island an Island - I'm coming over to live there.
- I give my Residents vote-----an immensely strong 'NO'.
- Island would be more prosperous but would lose its character.
- NO way!
- No ... house prices would rise ... London commuter belt ... enduring quality is because it IS an Island.
- My vote is NO as it would harm the unique character of the Island
|YES vote comments|
- I'm fed up with being ripped off by Wightlink
Latest tunnel news
September 2001: Construction work on controversial plans to build a tunnel between the Island and the mainland could begin within two years. That is according to
Phil Murray, Director of Operations of Linkland, the company behind the idea. The new plans involve the possibility of a railway line instead of the original plan to build
a road tunnel. The cost would be much lower and it would not impact the amount of traffic on the Island's roads. Mr. Murray on local radio says he can't see why the
project shouldn't go ahead because it all makes sense. Mr. Murray was heavily defeated in the general election when he stood on a platform of building a fixed link.
October 2001: The Official Solent Tunnel Project web site for Linkland 2001 is at www.solent-tunnel.com.
- AFLAG (Against Fixed Link Action Group) members are raising £10,000 to fund a study on the impact of a fixed link - This would be used to counter any future planning application. The group feel the Island's unitary development plan will offer little protection against a planning application.
- A detailed study in October 1998 indicated a viable tunnel could be dug for around £230,000,000. The survey was carried out by KPMG and cost £100,000, far more than AFLAG can hope to raise. The study suggested the tunnel would create 1,200 jobs. Eight routes for a tunnel were suggested:
- Southsea to Ryde
- Portsmouth to Ryde
- Gosport to Ryde
- Portsmouth to Fishbourne
- Gosport to Fishbourne
- Lee-on-Solent to East Cowes
- Calshot to East Cowes
- Calshot to Gurnard
- Many polls have been carried out in recent years (including the Nostalgia Site's 1999 and 2000polls) and without exception, they have all revealed the proposal to be unpopular.
General Election 2001 and the Isle of Wight Political Party
The 2001 General Election saw a new political force - the Isle of Wight Political Party with Phil Murray as leader and candidate. The party originally had a fixed link as its sole theme. The manifesto was later extended to other issues but the party always made it clear that their main
purpose was to get a link to the mainland built. However on 7th June 2001, the electorate gave the idea a resounding thumbs down. The party received only 1.8% of the vote, less than two other independents, the Green Party, Labour, Lib Dem and Conservartives. There can be no doubt that this idea should now be laid to rest. During the election campaign
this site provided the manifesto and welcomed comments. The comments I received were entirely against and are included below:
Comments made to this site about IWPP's manifesto.
- IOW roads are at best, prehistoric. Start adding more traffic that a bridge / tunnel would inevitably bring and things are only going to get worse. At the moment only a fixed amount of people
can come to the island (theroreticly) - the ferries can only carry so many cars on so many crossings so this limits the amount of people, whereas a bridge would allow more and
more until it would be gridlock, poeple falling off at the needles etc etc. I am confident that common sense will prevail. Jon.
- I can think of nothing that is more sad than a fixed link to "The Island"... A link with the mainland would be like a big syphon and take the lifeblood from it. BS
- It is quite simple really - the I.O.W. is special because it is an island. Any fixed link will mean the island is no longer special, just another piece of the mainland. The plans for
new roads are especially dangerous, and would destroy the rural nature of much of the Island, whilst increasing pollution and accidents. DK
- I think that this proposal is an outright disgrace. A bridge to the mainland would look very ugly indeed. And think of all the ferry operators,
they would go out of business, people working at Wightlink, Redfunnel and Hovertravel will lose their jobs.
- As a 'mainlander' I think it unfair that we get all the development on our green fields. A bridge would mean that the Island could take their fair share of future development.
- I am against a fixed link mainly on the grounds that you can't find anywhere to park now so the Island would become one big snarl up if we became joined to the mainland. However, as I understand it, the toll for a bridge or a tunnel would be so prohibitive that it would be pointless having one anyway. I have lived on the Island all my life and resent having to pay so much to get off. However I think the benefits of living here far outweigh the downside.
- I am horrified at the idea of a bridge to the Island! A recent bridge innovation in Canada was joining up Prince Edward Island to the mainland over the East
side. There is also a move afoot in my own area to replace a beautiful ferry journey with a bridge which would bring loads of unwanted traffic through a beautiful local rural area on our Peninsula. I am opposed to any idea of
bridges to beautiful islands as it just opens the door to increased traffic with the accompanying pollution, not to mentioned the possibility of further development. Pamela Sansom.
- No to the tunnel.
No to the bridge.
Lets get something right for a change and stop thinking about 'progress'. Lets just leave at least one corner of the U.K. perfect.
- Copy of email to Phil Murray from Diane Smith: I am 37 years old and I have been holidaying on the Island since I was 4 years old, sometimes twice a year and there has only been a couple of years that I have
not been in 33 years. In fact we are coming to the Island in seven weeks, we being my husband myself and two teenage daughters. We all LOVE THE ISLAND!!! I would like to say to anyone who is in favour of
a fixed link that maybe they might like to sit on the beach at Fishbourne for an hour or so. Catch the ferry over to Portsmouth and get a bus or taxi to the town centre and make your way to the old shopping
centre that looks like a scene in Beirut,with the boarded up shops, litter and graffiti. Find somewhere to sit and look with your eyes open for the same length of time
that you sat at Fishbourne, and ask yourself who made this place like it is. People, that's who! People who don't care about their own environment. There are a lot of these
people on the mainland you know. Do you really want all these people to be able to drive over to the Island whenever it takes their fancy to come and do the same and
spoil the unique place they call. The Isle of Wight. A fixed link to the Island would be a disaster. Why can't the government subsidise the car ferries for the Island people?
The prices of the car ferries certainly don't put off holidaymakers (not the right kind anyway) and if it did they are not the sort of holidaymakers you need. When we leave the Island and we
are on the ferry going back to the mainland I always worry, wondering what will have changed when return next year? Why do I feel like placing the Isle of Wight in a bottle
and taking it home with me to keep it safe from change. The Island is PERFECTION. Please leave it ALONE.
Impact assessment from the author of this site
Forget spending £ lots to find out the impact of a tunnel. The Isle of Wight Nostalgia site can provide this information free of charge!:
So here, for what it is worth, is the site's impact assessment of a fixed link between the Island & the mainland. The resources available for this assessment are considerably less than either of the assessments described in the section above. As an experienced forecaster (it's my daytime job!), I am also aware that forecasting the economy is an inexact science - especially where there is no historical data - as in this case. Other islands have been linked with other mainlands, but none will have the characteristics of this link. So here are the predictions:
- There will be more tourists, but less income from tourism
There will be far more day trippers. There will be more visitors looking for a 'short break' who were put off by the cost of the ferry. But there is little evidence that the longer stay visitor was put off by the cost of the trip. Indeed many holidaymakers find the sea trip an exciting start to the holiday. Many may be put off by the commercialism. Tourism will therefore increase but without the same increase in revenue.
- Commerce will increase & house prices will rise
It will be easy to commute between the Island & the mainland. This will be two-way. The island will become a popular place to set up office, easily reachable from
Portsmouth & Southampton. The Island will also be an attractive place to live for commuters to Portsmouth & Southampton.
- Crime will rise
Crime will increase above historical rates, and dramatically so near the tunnel exit. In other parts of the UK, most crime in the suburbs is imported from larger conurbations. Big cities are anonymous and an ideal place to sell stolen goods.
- Resident young people will stay on the island.
Many young people who live on the Island need to leave to find employment. This is far more common here than in most areas of the UK. There will be more opportunities for young people to find employment 'near' to home.
- Local Inflation will 'fall'
There will be a slight fall in the local inflation rate as the cost of transport to the Island is reduced. This will be marginal.
- Town centres will suffer
Large, out-of-town shopping centres have an appeal to many customers. For reasons beyond the comprehension of author of this site, driving to a crowded shopping mall, parking in huge car parks and fighting with crowds of people is an increasingly popular
pastime. The opportunity for visits to the mainland will increase to the detriment of local town centres
- Traffic will increase
Traffic will increase substantially. Both commuter and day trippers will add to the burden. Local roads will need to be widened, and more traffic calming measures introduced.
Better 24 hour access to the Island will be possible.
The Red Squirrel will probably suffer the same fate as the species on
Anglesey where Grey Squirrels are crossing the bridge! Anglesey, like the Island, had been a refuge for this species whose numbers are in dramatic decline.
- Quality of life?
The quality of life will change dramatically. The Island's character will change dramatically. I will leave it to the reader to decide if this will be for the better or worse.
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