John Vaughan, Exeter: 

As a devotee of the Isle of Wight I would like to comment on my recent visitor experience, with a view to improvements which would benefit the Island's tourism. 

I am sure the Island wishes to promote the use of public transport and reduce the use of private cars in this environmentally conscious era. 

With this in mind, I travelled to the Island last summer for a holiday in Seaview by train from London Victoria.

Sounds simple enough, but I discovered the train’s crew had no idea at all about transferring to the Island and did not know whether I should take the hovercraft or the Fastcat.

Wishing to avoid retracing my steps, I got off at Portsmouth town and took the hovercraft, but I had to ask a station staff member, who had only a vague idea, where to pick up the 'Hoverbus' as that was not clear either.

So, a lot of guesswork, though I made it to Ryde Esplanade (which is looking much improved).  

On the return journey, I was told I should not have taken the hovercraft and that I should take the Fastcat back.

Ryde Esplanade Station was looking very good (not quite finished) and the pierhead much improved also.

The Fastcat was comfortable and quick.

So, then, Portsmouth Harbour Station. Oh dear!

Firstly, there should be a large sign 'To the Trains' as the direction is not clear.

The station is down at heel and gives a negative impression to anyone intending to cross to the Island. 

'Visit Isle of Wight' needs to coordinate with South Western Railway and Southern to ensure the staff on the mainland are properly trained on informing passengers about transfer to the Island.

Moreover, Network Rail needs to be prevailed upon to redecorate the harbour station and to improve the customer experience.

My suggestion is that the harbour station should be redecorated in original Southern colours with the original-style signs.

Maybe various parties could collaborate on funding.  

Appearances are important and arrival at Portsmouth currently is profoundly disappointing, though the Island itself does not disappoint.