'Piracy' petition goes on-line

By a County Press reporter

Monday, November 12, 2012


'Piracy' petition goes on-line

A campaign has been launched on-line against cuts to Wightlink services and increased fares.

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


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Displaying the last 10 of 33 comments - Show All Comments

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by neil jacks

20th November 2012, at 15:22:57

trouble with some folk is they dont appreciate the IoW for what it is. If you want to trash it entirely and turn it into a complete dump best way to do this is build a bridge or tunnel. Do any of you pro bridge people ever get around the rest of the uk and see what a mess its in. Costs for travelling are rising world wide, The solent crossings have always been some of the highest per mile, nothing has changed. If there are some that cannot accept this, maybe they are not suited to island living. Forget a bridge, it will never happen for many reasons but mostly because few want one and there is insufficient demand to justify cost.concentrate your efforts in getting your council to improve public transport within the island, improve the appearance of at least two of its port towns, and invest in its tourist industry.

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by neil jacks

16th November 2012, at 19:47:39

i will second that

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by Cedric Flapbottom

14th November 2012, at 08:29:56

well said T Rollingswoth!

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by neil jacks

13th November 2012, at 19:25:10

mike, not sure what you mean. there is no demand for a bridge, there will be no bridge.

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by William Sykes

13th November 2012, at 16:22:09

Ohh dear, here we go again. Every time there is a report about ferry services we get the same arguments about whether or not there should be a bridge. It's not nice watching the Island gradually slipping into decline as tourist numbers dwindle & unemployment increases. I can only see it getting worse next year when the councils attack on tourism continues with the removal of the 10% discount for second homes. It makes a great headline for the locals, but will lead to even less tourists, which in turn will mean higher ferry prices & more unemployment. It seems to be an unstopable downward spiral. Second home owners use very few of the services that the council tax pays for, & easily repay the 10% discount in trade. In the winter many of the pubs & restaurants are very quiet, as are the ferries. This will only get worse as people are forced into selling up. Some people think that this will lead to lower house prices, but in reality this rarely happens. I hope things impro

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by Mike Crowe

13th November 2012, at 16:09:13

Neil, there's more to the world than the little bit of England you can see from Ryde and Cowes

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by neil jacks

13th November 2012, at 15:43:58

There will never be a bridge, there is simply no funding and even less requirement.

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by Mike Cond

13th November 2012, at 13:43:27

I lived on the Island in the 1960s. Then the first ferry from Cowes left at about 7.15am and the last one back from Southampton left there at about 6.30pm - I know because I went to Southampton to attend college once a week.Fishbourne and Ryde to Portsmouth had a better service but it certainly was not around the clock in the winter. Yarmouth to Lymington ran to similar hours as the Cowes to Southampton ferry.
It was inconvenient but I managed - as did everyone else. If there are not enough passengers to make the service viable to run throughout the night it is obvious that Wightlink cannnot operate it. By the way, in the 1960s the Wightlink routes were part of British Railways (ie nationalised) so they did not have to make a profit.

No one is forced to live on the Island and that's why I moved to the mainland in 1968. Whil;e the Island has many advantages, it also has disadvantages and the ferries is one of them and always will be.

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by Mike Crowe

13th November 2012, at 11:34:52

All you doom merchants against a bridge. It WILL be built at sometime or other, so let's get on with it NOW.
Yes it will be expensive to build. It will be more expensive in years to come.
Yes it will be closed in bad weather. Do the ferries never stop for bad weather?
Yes it will cost to travel across it. Are the ferries free?
Yes it will be high enough for the larget of ships to pass under, it's called 'design'.

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by John Lovell

13th November 2012, at 09:40:21

When they built the Rio-Antirio bridge in Greece just prior to the Olympics in Athens the car ferries were bemoaning that they would lose their livelihoods.This crossing distance is pretty much the same as The Solent,
The price of using the bridge by car has now become so extortionate that the ferries are still in business and doing a thriving trade.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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