STAFF on Island Line could be exposed to 'unacceptable risk' due to outdated electrical equipment on the route, according to Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely.

In a letter to the secretary of state for transport, Chris Grayling, Mr Seely is calling for Network Rail to prioritise renewal of equipment at the three electrical sub-stations along the route.

He is also calling for investment from Network Rail along Ryde Pier between Ryde Esplanade and Ryde Pierhead stations, saying that the structure provides seamless connectivity to the mainland for commuters, patients and visitors.

As previously reported, new franchise owners, South Western Railway, (SWR) working with the Department for Transport, are aiming to install a new passing loop at Brading to enable half-hourly services and also to undertake essential repairs and renewals to the track addressing poor ride quality.

Other proposals include the replacement of the line's ageing rolling stock.

Mr Seely said: "I have no doubt that the scale of loss-making will reduce if the proposed investment is made."

South Western Railway said: "“ Earlier this year we submitted our costed option proposal for improvements to the Island Line to the Department for Transport (DfT), which included improvements to sub stations, rolling stock, tracks and stations.

“We expect to receive the DfT’s response to our proposal later this year, and should it be accepted there will be further discussions regarding the funding of the improvements.”