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Letter to the editor – 13th October 2020

I am writing to you to try and raise the profile of an issue people on the Isle of Wight are facing on a daily basis.

People are being prevented from getting to school and work due to social distancing restrictions being imposed on Hover and Fast Cat travel. This is preventing people from getting to work and adding unacceptable stress during an already stressful time.

I do not understand how people can get in a full flight for a holiday to Spain yet Islanders commuting have to miss a seat out between each person making all crossings hugely under capacity.

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Getting employment either on the Island or mainland is already a challenge. Employers can be reluctant to employ people from the Island due to the perception that cancelled crossings will make you frequently late and an unreliable employee. The Hover are doing nothing to allay these fears or uphold the reputation of the Island as a place open for business.

Every day is turning into a battle to get to work and I risk losing my job due to the issue. I am a teacher and I have met other key workers, including doctors and nurses, experiencing the same issue.

Please help.


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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Geoff Hope

Many people with reasonable intellect realise that IF living on an Island, then your life-style will likely be ‘different’ from those whom live on the mainland.   That is the ‘price’ you pay for living in a more crime free, slower pace of life, less built up (despite our vile council determined to change that) more close knit community.   Wages are often lower here, education may not be as great, job opportunities are far more limited, but those born here know that, those coming here ought to realise that.   Problem being, some want, and expect all the ‘good’… Read more »

Steven Willet

Very good points Geoff. When I worked in Slovenia, people would work in nearby but expensive Austria, but live in Slovenia, and people from Austria would come to Slovenia to shop, it being cheaper to do so.   But having the best of both worlds comes at a price, and as you rightly say, ‘we’ the Island, having a far better living quality, if not standard of life, is people choice.   If people can travel with nothing, from all corners of the globe to come to the UK, it can’t be beyond the wit on those unhappy to move… Read more »


Crime free? So why does the island have higher crime figures than Eastleigh, New forest etc?? Maybe if the IOW got into the 21st century and built a fixed link, then there would not be any problems getting on or off.

Old bean

What a dumb thing to say

Anthony Travell

Crime free? Typical island mentality


He wrote “More crime free”. Learn to read please.


Move to the mainland then and stop clogging up houses over here then?

Karn Evil 9

Grow up Liam. Go back to your xbox.

Eve Shipman

Maybe you could find a mainland-based teacher who commutes to the island for work and do a job-swap.

Steven Willet

What and give up the ‘crop’ in the Hayland’s garage. I should coco.

Karn Evil 9

How about getting the ferry companies to check ID and maybe if you work on the mainland, take a payslip as proof of ID and proof of employment over there. Basically the ferry companies should be making people who work over there or come over here a priority and NHS visits.


As a lot of comments (nasty as they are) concern people coming to the island. So perhaps mainland people feel the same way eh? All very sad really.

Dan Williams

Such ignorance. If you don’t like it leave etc. You do not know the person’s circumstances. Maybe she was forced to work on the mainland through lack of a suitable job on the island, but didn’t want to move away from her home? As for greed why should one accept a job that pays 20% less (or more) just because its on the IOW. Stuff doesn’t cost 20% less in the shops does it. Dear Mr Amazon can I have a 20% discount because I live on the IOW and get paid much less than somebody doing a comparable job… Read more »

Tim C

Agreed dan. I was born here and live here, my ancestors lived here and I don’t want to move. I just want to be able to have better access to the mainland for work and travel. I also don’t want my wages kept artificially low by companies that monopolise the island.
Why should we be over charged by ferry companies that aren’t regulated.
Build a tunnel I say and regulate the price. Whats the difference between paying to go through a tunnel or on a boat.
I expect the tunnel would be cheaper and more reliable.

Karn Evil 9

At least on the mainland us islanders can spread out a bit more, you see the mainland is bigger.

Jan Millen

How depressing it is to read the negative selfish comments when we all this person wants is to be able to live their life to their full potential!
The Island is not Gods waiting place and I hope that the situation can greatly improve when we have more strength and are less restricted by Covid.


There is a car ferry service, that you can board as a foot passenger.   You also indicate being a teacher, which means you never travel before 0700 to get to work. Perhaps you should get up earlier and go on the 0647 fastcat which has plenty of space every single day.   Mind you – isn’t it half term for the next two weeks – more paid holiday   i get the hover some days, but they are restricting capacity due to covid – you cannot have it both ways – demand social distancing but demand a seat on… Read more »

D Smith

Happening to often. I run a business on the Island that requires myself and my staff to regularly cross to the mainland. Despite spending thousand each year on season tickets and travel passes at the Hover, we are unable to book as required as our journeys are at different times during the morning. The Private school children who cross to the Portsmouth Schools whose parents elect to distance themselves from the Island education system, take all of the bookings on certain crossings. This leaves the regular high paying customers such as myself standing outside in all weathers hoping that we… Read more »


That funding was provided in April until July….   from the transportxtra website….     The funding – agreed jointly by the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Treasury – will support the continuation of crucial passenger ferries to the Isle of Wight as well as sea and air links to the Isles of Scilly over the next three months.   if you search on the internet you will find details of that amount. It was split between the three ferry companies so that they could carry on operating on a limited basis for three months – the fastcat/the yarmouth… Read more »

Big Ben

Looks like teacher needs to go back to school and learn about social distancing and why it is important, the restrictions are there for a reason and a person in your profession should understand this. Your choices are simple get an earlier fast-cat/hover or the car ferry which normally has acres of space.


I’d love a tunnel! But as bob seely bro in law works for one of the ferry companies itll never happen.too much lost revenue.but let’s be honest prices and unreliability is appawling especially if your an islander.not many perks come our way. I cant travel well on boats personally so tunnel all the way.it is hard too commute given the weather stops on hovertravel for one.apart from the old stuck in there ways island gimmers who dont agree with a tunnel,i think many would.we should have the choice not ripped off by ferry companies.btw are more interested in profits before… Read more »


sarah – you are misinformed and an arrogant idiot.
old stuck in their ways,island gimmers – perhaps you should move to the mainland then
ferry companies pack em in pile em high – when i occasionally travel on the hover for work at 0645, they have reduced the capacity so that everyone who is not in a support bubble has an empty seat between them and the next customer. hardly packing em in.
get your facts right sarah.

F U Island

I feel your pain.

Last edited 2 days ago by F U Island

‘FAST’ Cat.. where is that… there is a Catamaran service with Wightlink but it is not ‘FAST… it used to be, used to take 15 minutes each way… but now lucky at 23 or 25 min…/ they often seem to purposely miss the London train coming in,. they are so nice… but again NOT FAST !! If anyone remembers the SS Shanklin when it did Ryde Pier to Portsmouth… it used to take 25 min.. you could walk around, watch the scenery pass, have time for a beer and or a bite to eat..


Don’t start me on ferry fares… I am a motorcyclist… last time I crossed with Wightlink, it was £38.50, a few months before Covid, I went over in a car, day return, standard sized saloon, cost £55.00.. Unknown how they work out the price for a motorbike.. one can get four motorbikes in space of a car, and still weigh less. Why does the government allow them to moneygrab.. thought that was illegal. How would they like it if they had to get on a public bus to get home and the driver said, sorry mate, £10.00 fare now its… Read more »


Fixed link will happen somewhen… look at Portsmouth and Hayling, among many others, they are Islands with fixed links…, sure will ruin much of this Islands beauty, but sadly more and more people coming here, more and more homes being built, so where are the jobs for these newbies.. so eventually it will happen, unless the Island council builds more floating bridges… ha ha ha ha !!

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