Reader Tony Toller of Totland (CP online, 18-09-21) is far too simplistic in his reasoning for promoting a fixed link to the Isle of Wight, talking only of the financial argument of travelling to and from the Island; completely ignoring the negative impacts to Island life.

These were all discussed 20 years ago, at the last consultation, where the negative impacts far outweighed any improvement with the fixed link being dropped then.

One, and foremost: a fixed link 'bridge' was put completely out of the question at that time by the government for conservation reasons over the Solent.

I was active back then in AFLAG — Against Fixed Link Action Group — where we had over 3,500 Islanders joining our group to oppose the fixed link.

We delved deeply into the 'negative impacts' on the Island, with much of our research involving Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police, who advised us of the serious increase in crime that would overtake the Island should the link come to fruition — where roll on-roll off 'uncontrolled' traffic would negatively impact the Island: increased crime being high on the list of negative impacts.

And this is where Mr Toller's reasoning fails miserably — considering only the financial side of the argument and ignoring completely the 'negative impact' on Island life. And here's more: -

  • The Island would become a second-rate dormitory of Portsmouth.
  • Second-home owners would flood here unrestricted — negating any chance of our youngsters being able to buy their own 'affordable' homes, and this at a time when the government is trying to clamp down on second home ownership nationwide.
  • And, double-edged to this, far more mainlanders would move here to commute to the mainland for work, with the further negative impact of far more school places and GP practices being required, plus increased hospital and nursing care.
  • The hotel trade would suffer with more and more day-trippers popping over just for the weekend, and less weekly or fortnightly staycations.
  • The Island's rural road network could not cope with the extra traffic.
  • Plus many other negative factors.

If you put Islander's lives first, notwithstanding ferry costs, you would not be thinking of a fixed link at all, as this is far more than just about convenience of travel — it is about the negative impact on all Islander's lives.

We have had over 100 years of debate calling for a fixed link — the negative impacts have always won the day.

There is so much in the national press these days of people living in Britain who hate the British way of life — my advice to them is leave our shores.

Likewise, those who hate Island life — my advice to them also is leave our Island.

Did you miss Tony Toller's letter?

READ IT AGAIN: LETTER: Inexcusable ferry prices thanks to well controlled monopoly

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