AN on-line "anti-piracy" campaign has been launched against ferry operator, Wightlink.
The web-based "Open Letter" campaign, designed to force Wightlink to think again about cuts in services and fare increases, is the brainchild of Isle of Wight campaigner Chris Whitehouse.
He said the open letter to Wightlink Chief Executive, Russell Kew, had gained rapid support from ferry users and enabled Isle of Wight residents to endorse his views.
In his letter Mr Whitehouse, as reported in the Isle of Wight County Press on Friday, described the Wighlink moves as "bordering on piracy".
Those signing the letter can "like it" on Facebook and tweet it on Twitter to show support.
"The open letter has really taken off. Many Island residents are not only adding their names, but also leaving comments explaining just why these moves are unacceptable," said Mr Whitehouse.
Among those to have left comments on the campaign website so far are:
James Batchelor, of Totland: "I am a serving Royal Marine and commute daily to Naval HQ in Portsmouth. I am often required to work late into the evenings or get to work within the early hours. It was difficult enough to achieve this on the old timetable but the new one makes it almost impossible."
Anthony Hathaway, of Cowes: "This will inevitably increase freight costs to and from the Island which will put a greater strain on commercial and domestic purses. I fully expect this cavalier attitude will add weight to the argument for a cross channel bridge, which will perhaps make all ferry companies consider their customers."
Jo Stubbs, of Godshill:"The cost of moving between Island and mainland is bad enough but having to fit in with Wightlink’s idea of timetable and pay through the nose for the privilege is ridiculous. Yet again Wightlink shows a complete disregard for the people and Island they decided to serve when they took on the job."
Kuki Waterstone, of Gurnard: "How can any Islander nip across for an evening show and meal, if they can't return home the same day? Also, the stress of catching a particular ferry is magnified for every extra hour one has to wait for the next one. Bring on the bridge; watch the ferry prices plummet."
Kim Filby, of Totland: "I am a regular user of the Wightlink ferry service as I have an elderly parent on the mainland. These proposed changes will have an extremely detrimental impact on my family life."
Shirley Smart, of Newport: "We, the Island, will become more isolated."
The letter and comments can be found at www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/wightlinkpiracy