Hundreds of Wightlink customers, stakeholders and neighbours on the Isle of Wight and mainland have taken the opportunity to comment on the company’s £45million development plans for a new ship to enter service in 2017 and improvements to port facilities, including double deck loading, during a month-long consultation.
More than 500 individuals and organisations gave their views to senior managers at community meetings and drop-in events at both Portsmouth Gunwharf and Fishbourne terminals or commented online or by post through May and June..They included Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner, Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, councillors, and people living near the terminals.
The overwhelming positive feedback saw respondents welcoming the proposed investment, with particular mention made of plans to increase vessel capacity and cut congestion for passengers. Issues such as traffic movements at both Portsmouth and Fishbourne, ways to reduce noise and light at terminals and the design of the double deck loading ramps were also raised.
Chief Operating Officer, John Burrows said:
“We advertised our consultation events widely on both sides of the Solent and were pleased that so many people wanted to come and see us.
“We want to thank everyone who shared their views and assure them that we will take their feedback into account as we finalise our plans for the company’s largest-ever investment in shipping and infrastructure.”
Wightlink is now preparing its application for planning permission from Isle of Wight and Portsmouth councils and the maritime authorities. Statutory consultations will then take place.
The webpage www.wightlink.co.uk/iftf will be updated with information about the development.