WightLink in choppy waters

Letter to the editor – 22nd February 2024

This letter was originally published in the Island Echo. See here.

“So we start another day of delays and cancellations. There will be more individual posts of people unable to meet their commitments on both sides of the water.

“Is it possible to get a collated list of all of the cancellations and delays on Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel so far this year? It would make dreadful reading and would illustrate clearly how daily life is being impacted by the shocking service we all receive.


“There is no part of the UK that would accept and live with transport links as unreliable and expensive as this, for which there is little accountability and no apparent incentive to improve.

“I really admire the work of the Wightlink Users Group, but there is a bigger picture here, involving all cross Solent links.

“Our MP is obliged to turn this into a major issue. It would help greatly if MPs across the South, whose constituencies host businesses that trade with the island and must get affected by the cost and unreliability of ferries, could co-ordinate to bring pressure on the government to conduct an emergency review – at the very least.

“Frustration and anger is burning and growing in every post and every comment. We all understand that the ownership model of the ferry companies is the root of the issue, but we can’t allow the current, unregulated situation to go unchallenged.

“At the moment people can’t reliably commute, trade, travel or attend medical appointments, whilst the Island’s main economic sustenance, the tourism industry, is being drained by poor service and high fares.


“For God’s sake, somebody in Government get this on the agenda and somebody in the mainstream media take this on as a major campaign. Or is it a case of ‘its only the Isle of Wight, so who cares’.”


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