From Maarten Herman, Merstone:

“I LIVE on the IW.”

“Ah yes, I’ve been there when I was a kid”.

Sounds familiar?

Well, we are not helping ourselves with some very short-sighted attitudes and policies with regards to the Island’s most important trade: tourism.

Three issues are coming to mind which, presently, shout to tourists to stay away:

1) The price of our ferries. Tourists interested to visit the Island will have to first overcome the first hurdle by being able to get to the Island. As is well known to all, the ferry companies are vastly over-priced, putting many tourists off from coming to the Island in the first place. The Island gets starved from their desperately needed trade as tourists recognise it may well be cheaper to go on a holiday abroad than to venture across.

2) The cost of parking. In a recent letter to the editor, a tourist wrote they will not be coming back to the Island after they have been one of the many victims of our notorious parking schemes. Why lure tourists to the Island and then sting them with nasty parking fees? You can’t blame them not wishing to take such “souvenirs” back home with them.

3) Traffic chaos around Newport. The thought of developing St Mary’s Roundabout into another Coppins Bridge traffic-light fiasco is making Islanders literally “go round the bend”.

St Mary’s functions very well and hundreds of Islanders have told the council they don’t want this roundabout changed.

Also the number of traffic lights in some places seems over the top: In Church Litten in Newport, I counted 18-plus traffic lights where probably four would have sufficed (why?).

Any traffic lights at main traffic flow locations should, today, at the very least be of the “intelligent” sensor type to reduce mindless waiting around, frustrating tourists and Islanders alike.

Is it really any wonder that tourists may opt to go on holiday elsewhere?!

Let’s do something about these issues; it’s not too late, but we do need to do something about them

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