Earlier this month the Island’s MP asked the Rail Minister, Clare Perry MP to confirm the Government’s support for the Island project. The Minister did so emphatically, stressing the success of meetings held prior to the General Election in which the case for the taskforce was argued ‘very assiduously’.
Mr Turner said:
“We need to find answers to a number of important questions to ensure that the Island gets a fair share of Transport Infrastructure funds. The Government is devolving funding for such projects down to local authorities and local enterprise partnerships, because they are best placed to understand the needs of their area and local people.
“Some questions have been raised with me about the future of Island Line which currently loses around £3m a year. This is a key issue that the taskforce will examine to find the best way to secure the future of the service.
“They will also consider such issues as cross-Solent services and any proposals put forward for a fixed link, and vigorously assess them and the social and economic benefits they claim. Although the Council will be leading on this I stand ready to give them any support I can as they move the project forward.”
Jonathan Bacon, the Leader of the Isle of Wight Council added:
“This is extremely important to the future of the Island and we are working hard to turn the plans into reality. This is not a political issue, and I welcome the support of Andrew and other partners, including other political groups within the Council. We will all need to work together to get the best possible result for the Isle of Wight”.