A £10 million investment will see the creation of the long-awaited Ryde transport hub and the transformation of the old pier tramway, into a dedicated cycle and pedestrian walkway.

The multi-million pound project has been announced by the Isle of Wight Council today (September 28), following a successful bid to the government's Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) and public consultations will follow.

Scroll down for reaction and pictures...

What is being planned? 

Detailed plans will be release in the near furture, but for now we know there will be:

  • An accessible cycling and walking link along Ryde Pier - on the redundant tramway
  • A reconfiguration of the bus and train station
  • Refurbished public toilets
  • Widened paths, new crossings and cycle routes
  • Pedestrian and cycle routes will run along from Ryde Esplanade to Appley

Isle of Wight County Press:

What the Ryde Pier scheme will look like (Image: Rainey Petrie)

Will Islanders get involved?

The Ryde Regeneration Group has already had its say on the plans, during early discussion. 

Islanders will be consulted when the detailed plans are published in the coming weeks, says County Hall.

Isle of Wight County Press:

What the Ryde Pier scheme will look like (Image: Rainey Petrie)

Where has the money come from?

The Isle of Wight council submitted a joint bid with Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council and local public transport operators, with a shared commitment to transform the way people travel in the area.

The bid was awarded £56 million towards the total scheme package of £96.5 million, with match funding provided by each of the bidding authorities and their partners.

The council says the success of the bid is an important next step for the three authorities, towards developing a rapid transit network for the area.

Other recent successful bids to the government include the 'Restoring Your Railway 'Ideas Fund' (Read more HERE) and the £26 million announced by the transport secretary last September, for refurbished rolling stock and a new passing loop on Island Line (CLICK HERE for more).

What's the reaction so far?

Isle of Wight County Press:

Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, Isle of Wight Council

Isle of Wight Council's Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: "Today's exciting announcement represents unprecedented investment in active travel and public transport improvements in Ryde.

"The scheme will provide a safe cycling and walking route along Ryde Pier, separate from vehicles, and create an improved transport hub at this gateway to the Island.

"The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has accelerated the changing travel patterns we were already beginning to see. With more people already cycling and walking, this is a critical time for us to make changes for the future as the Island enters a stabilisation phase from the Covid-19 pandemic."

Paul Walker, head of strategic development at Go South Coast (Southern Vectis), said: "We fully endorse the concept of an improved public transport interchange at Ryde which builds on our investment on the Isle of Wight to services connecting to the Island.

"This programme is essential not only to improve modal interchange in terms of building the economy post Covid-19 but also promoting the Island to visitors getting around the Island by bus."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Mark Hopwood, managing director, South Western Railway

Mark Hopwood, managing director, South Western Railway, said: "South Western Railway is delighted that Ryde Esplanade will receive additional funding to improve transport connectivity on the Island.

"This funding will add to the £26 million already being invested in Island Line and will significantly improve the customer experience at this important interchange."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Wightlink chief executive, Keith Greenfield

Wightlink chief executive, Keith Greenfield, said: "We are thrilled the Island has been awarded this grant. The old tramway will be transformed into a pleasant route for walkers and cyclists along our historic pier towards Wightlink's foot passenger terminal.

"FastCats are cycle-friendly and they will now be easy to access directly from the esplanade, thanks to this welcome investment in active travel and public transport."

Update 3.20pm: Island MP Bob Seely said: “I am delighted that the Isle of Wight is yet again receiving more investment. This is another example of the MP and Council working together, with others, to deliver for the Island  

"This is good news for cyclists and pedestrians and a great opportunity for us all to think about getting out of our cars and becoming more active.
“I will keep pushing the government, with the IW Council, to ensure that the Island is the first in the queue for this type of investment.”