From Carl J. Feeney, PRO-LINK chair:

It IS great news the IW Council is starting to take pragmatic, rational decisions regarding future Island infrastructure.   

The Medina crossing plans were stated back in 2016, within the PRO-LINK submission to the IW Transport Infrastructure Taskforce.

Since then, the subject has been discussed at great length by thousands of people on the IW Fixed Link Tunnel Facebook group.

That information has been used by the council regeneration team while PRO-LINK has pushed the Medina crossing scheme in meetings. As yet though, we are not aware of the infrastructure consultancy company the council intends to use or the potential costings of the study?

Over the past four years, PRO-LINK has negotiated extensively with KPMG, Royal Haskoning DHV and finally ARUP to produce a proposal scope for a Solent Freedom Tunnel (SFT) ‘viability’ study.

The SFT will enable huge regional economic benefits. Expert evidence backed answers to the questions long posed... including by two MP’s, will set the island in the correct direction. PRO-LINK has performed a huge amount of detailed work, along with in depth consultancy... both public and professional.

That work has allowed the SFT viability study cost to be low. ARUP’s negotiated fee is just £100,000 plus VAT.

So far £21,000 has been raised from hundreds of donations by Islanders and  £79,000 is now required. There have been some awful stagnating infrastructure decisions recently, wasting Island taxpayers millions. Hopefully, this council will make two good decisions now, to help bring us into the 21st century.

We have many impending problems. For instance: 10,000 more dwellings and circa 20,000 more residents will be added to the population in the next 15 years, with an ageing demographic desperate to access mainland specialist healthcare.

The ferries are running at maximum possible capacity now. The tipping point is here already, with fares topping £200 and frequent non availability of spaces. Things will get even worse if we don’t adapt.

Due to the work of PRO-LINK, the Solent Fixed Link Study will inevitably be far cheaper than the proposed Medina Crossing Study.

To not embrace this fantastic opportunity to gain the correct information not tainted by politics, would surely be heinously irresponsible by our elected decision makers.

We must get these two studies done immediately and move forward at last...with correct forward-thinking solutions.