As Islanders weigh up who to vote for in the General Election, the County Press asked candidates standing in Isle of Wight East what they would do about Island Line services.

Whether it's because of staff shortages or technical woes, Island Line has struggled for reliability in recent times.

As of Sunday, June 2 a new timetable came into place on the line, but there are no signs of a two train service being restored, despite previous promises.

Read more: Isle of Wight Island Line train timetable changes for summer

With less than a month to go until the General Election, we gave the five East candidates 120 words to tell us what they would do, should they get elected.

For Island Labour, Emily Brothers said: "It is miserable performance.

"We were promised half hourly services and even the possibility of trains every 20 minutes after the £26m works in 2021.

"Conservative mismanagement means services have come off the rails: less frequent, unreliable and destined for replacement in just seven years.

“I will seek to find a more effective, sustainable solution. Island Line could be a testbed for Very Light rail (trams) running sustainable public transport powered by fast charging solar batteries form a local farm.

“Labour will deliver root and branch reform with a publicly owned railway focused on delivering for passengers and will be held to account on delivering reliable, safe, efficient, accessible, affordable and quality services. This will include the Island Line.”

Michael Lilley, Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats candidate, said: "Island line has received substantial funding to improve the infrastructure and trains to run two per hour to and from the pier head.

"SWT must resolve the issues at Brading loop, the pier rails and timetable two trains per hour. 

"I would call in the ORR ( Office of Road and Rail) to intervene and hold them to account.

"It is a question of the regulator holding them to account on their service delivery and commitment.

"Government will need to fund the widespread interventions needed to reduce flood risk."

Meanwhile, for the Isle of Wight Green Party, Vix Lowthion said: "The £26 million spent on the railway investment scheme for Island Line was a massive investment including new trains, signalling, track and ticket machines.

But, at the end of the day, what the Island needs is improved frequency and reliability of the service.

"This investment has not brought us that. We were promised that the new Brading Loop would mean a half-hourly service – and this is yet to be delivered leaving islanders stuck at the pierhead or stations.

"A low cost, light-rail tramway was a possible option, but dismissed at the time.

"Efficient and reliable public transport should be a priority for the Island – it gets cars off our roads, and reduces congestion and pollution. Win-win!"

Reform UK candidate, Sarah Morris, said: "At least 16 Years of problems.

"Initially they dropped the speed limit to make the train run more safely.

"Eventually we were promised new/old trains, but in a similar vein to our dire situation with the chain ferry, the purchaser of the new equipment didn’t think about the existing infrastructure.

"They had to raise platforms and dig out tunnels to make the trains fit! One still cannot travel past St John’s.

"The new wheels have worn due to not fitting the old track, they are no longer in production so can only be sourced second hand.

"A small amount of planning would have prevented this. All that money, and still only one train every 40 minutes. Good value?"

For the Isle of Wight Conservatives, Joe Robertson said: "The Government's multi-million pound investment in Island Line in 2021 represented the biggest upgrade to this route in over half a century.

"There have obviously been some operational challenges in keeping to a timetable with tight turnarounds which reliably ensures that FastCat services are met for both departures to, and arrivals from, the mainland.

"The team running Island Line, and the management provided by SWR, must ensure that the improvements made over recent years can continue to be enjoyed by those using this route and that the service is not reduced."

David Groocock, independent candidate, said: "After the major investment to upgrade and modernise the Track and Trains it is extremely disappointing that we find that only a few of the trains are in service and the fact that sub standard (or wrong) wheels were fitted is also disappointing. 

"We constantly hear of trains cancelled through staff shortages therefore the service falls well short of what we were promised.

"The train service from Ryde to Shanklin is and integral part of the transport system on the Island and needs to be investigated to find out why it has come to this failure of delivering a full timetable for the travelling public."

In Isle of Wight West, parliamentary candidates standing are Green Party's Cameron Palin; Ian Pickering, Reform UK candidate; Richard Quigley, of Island Labour; Conservative Bob Seely; Liberal Democrat's Nick Stuart.