A COMPLETE modernisation of an extended Island railway is needed, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has demanded.

Responding to a consultation on the future of the Island Line he said more investment in new, faster trains, in stations and track was vital if the Island and the service were to flourish.

Mr Seely said he supported a longer franchise than the current seven years granted to South Western Railway, if it meant greater investment in the line and an improved service.

He said a 30 minute service frequency would do much to allow more visitors onto the Island and ease traffic congestion between Newport and Ryde.

However, he said the ride quality must also be improved.

He said: "It is dreadful. I am not expecting a high-speed service, but can we have a ride that feels like a train service, and not a Land Rover going over an Island bridleway?

"Island Line also needs to invest in newer rolling stock, better station quality and faster services."

He stressed Ryde Pier Head and Ryde Esplanade both needed considerable investment and closer links between the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and Island Line needed to be encouraged.

He supported network extensions to Ventnor and to Newport but accepted there were logistical problems to both and that much expert investigation and public consultation was needed.