Ferries faster than motorway for commuters, claim

By Ross Findon

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Ferries faster than motorway for commuters, claim

A Wightlink ferry arrives at Yarmouth. Picture by Robin Crossley.

COMMUTERS using the 'hideously busy’ M27 to reach Portsmouth claim they can save time by taking two ferries and coming via the Isle of Wight, an MP has said.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage this week told a parliamentary debate on transport infrastructure that traffic congestion and a poor rail services were hurting the region’s economy.

"The distance between Portsmouth and Southampton is just 20 miles, yet at peak times that journey can take well over an hour by road.

"The journey by rail often takes the same time, as there are only two or three direct trains an hour.

"Inevitably, slow journey times and poor service frequency on the rail network mean more and more people take to the roads, this clogging up the already hideously busy M27.

"I have heard it can be quicker for commuters in the extreme western end of the Solent to get to Portsmouth via the Isle of Wight — which involves taking two ferries — than by using the M27, which is clearly ridiculous," she said.

Her comments were backed by Beckenham MP Bob Stewart, who said improvements to infrastructure would help create more job opportunities.

MP Stephen Hammond, parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, said the government was committed to investing record amounts in expanding rail and road infrastructure.

How the journeys compare:

• Via Southampton

Distance: 42.7 miles

Time: 57 minutes (plus more than an extra hour during rush hour according to Caroline Dinenage).

• Via Yarmouth

Distance: Approximately 27 miles

Time: 1 hour 49 minutes (not including waiting and using the Yarmouth car ferry and Ryde Fast Cat).


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