Artist impression by Rainey Petrie - but the Council say the walkway won't be covered


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The redundant tramway on Ryde Pier looks set to be transformed into a dedicated cycle and pedestrian walkway as part of a multi-million-pound package of active travel and public transport improvements announced by the Isle of Wight Council today (Monday).

The ambitious proposals include the long-awaited regeneration of the town’s transport interchange with vast improvements for pedestrians and cyclists not only at this key transport hub, but along the entire length of Ryde Esplanade to Appley.

It follows a successful bid to the government’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) which will see £10 million invested in Ryde.

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Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, has said:

“Today’s exciting announcement represents unprecedented investment in active travel and public transport improvements in Ryde.

“The scheme will provide a safe cycling and walking route along Ryde Pier, separate from vehicles, and create an improved transport hub at this gateway to the Island.

“The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has accelerated the changing travel patterns we were already beginning to see. With more people already cycling and walking, this is a critical time for us to make changes for the future.”

The council submitted a joint bid with Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council and local public transport operators with a shared commitment to transform the way people travel in the area. The bid was awarded £56 million towards the total scheme package of £96.5 million, with match funding provided by each of the bidding authorities and their partners.

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The success of the bid is seen as an important next step for the 3 authorities towards developing a rapid transit network for the area.

The Isle of Wight schemes include a fully accessible cycling and walking link along the historic Ryde Pier utilising the redundant tramway pier. The project would address the current conflict between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles using the pier.

Photo by Jane Grewcock

The plans for Ryde interchange include a total reconfiguration of the current layout with significant public realm improvements, refurbished public toilets and greatly enhanced facilities for pedestrians and cyclists including widened footways, new crossings and cycle routes.

CGI graphics show a new terminal for the Wightlink catamaran with the addition of a walk ashore pontoon at the end of the pier.

However, the Isle of Wight Council say that the walkway will not be covered to offer protection from the elements, as per the CGI images produced by local firm Rainey Petrie.

The local Ryde Regeneration Group has already inputted to the early stages of the plans to help ensure the investment complements the wider regeneration of the town, including the £1 million investment in the Heritage High Street programme. People will be invited to have their say as part of a comprehensive consultation when detailed plans are published in the coming weeks.

Paul Walker, head of strategic development at Go South Coast (Southern Vectis), said:

“We fully endorse the concept of an improved public transport interchange at Ryde which builds on our investment on the Isle of Wight to services connecting to the Island.

“This programme is essential not only to improve modal interchange in terms of building the economy but also promoting the Island to visitors getting around the Island by bus.”

Mark Hopwood, managing director, South Western Railway, said:

“South Western Railway is delighted that Ryde Esplanade will receive additional funding to improve transport connectivity on the Island.

“This funding will add to the £26 million already being invested in Island Line and will significantly improve the customer experience at this important interchange”

Wightlink chief executive, Keith Greenfield, said:

“We are thrilled the Island has been awarded this grant. The old tramway will be transformed into a pleasant route for walkers and cyclists along our historic pier towards Wightlink’s foot passenger terminal.

“FastCats are cycle-friendly and they will now be easy to access directly from the esplanade, thanks to this welcome investment in active travel and public transport.”

The news follows successful bids to the government’s ‘Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ to restore railway lines lost to the Beeching cuts, and the £26 million announced by the transport secretary last September for refurbished rolling stock and a new passing loop on Island Line.

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has said:

“I am delighted that the Isle of Wight is yet again receiving more investment. This is another example of the MP and Council working together, with others, to deliver for the Island  This is good news for cyclists and pedestrians and a great opportunity for us all to think about getting out of our cars and becoming more active.

“I will keep pushing the government, with the IW Council, to ensure that the Island is the first in the queue for this type of investment.”

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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This will be another IW F–K UP!


This is from a company that took over a year to fix a ramp. :-/ And then promptly broke the one in Portsmouth.


So true, they use cowboys to do the work.


John these people sadly are NOT idiots. Just sly, and corrupt. They KNOW more business units will not be needed, BUT once they have permission to ruin a green field site into a brown field site for business, then it is very easy to ‘change’ the ‘use’ from business to residential.   Thus that is what will happen. They will in a short space of time say ‘ Due to Covid, business need is less that what we ‘forecast’ and now we wish to alter the business unit plans to more social housing.’   Thus cramming ever more homes into… Read more »


I never thought of that, they are crafty bast—s!

Arthur Sausage

All the council staff have had all their brains removed

That’s part of the criteria of being employed by IoW council.

Old bean

Sounds a lovely idea but please please don’t let the island council get involved just look at the floating bridge council please stay away from this proposal please


Old bean, then it may come as no surprise that Cllr, Whittle OWNS the cafe at the land end of the Pier, and so will benefit greatly from the increased foot fall in trade.
So, he, being he is in charge of business for the Council, and know for his private business practices as oft mentioned on here in a less than golden light, then this WILL happen as a Council ‘member’ will gain privately financially from such so just how would YOU imagine they will vote for such?

The oracle

Excellent idea apart from the cycles. Keep the cycles on the main area for cars. Cycles are not permitted on pavements to keep pedestrians safe. The same should apply on the pier.
Other than that, a welcome addition.

Oracles corrector

You may want to take an extra few minutes to re read what has been proposed and look at the photos. As it shows, there will be separate lanes for 1. Cars 2. Cyclists 3. Pedestrians. Not much of an ‘Oracle’

The oracle

Thank you for picking me up on my oversight. I look upon the motive for your comment as a huge compliment.

The oracle

What, no reply to my comment “nipper”. Sums it all up nipper.!!!! Typical Island mentality.

Joe Bloggs

Pity they can’t move the cars over so the walkway is down the west side of the pier so that pedestrians can use the refuges and see what is happening in the sea below.

Echo reader

Rip fishing.


2002 wants their 3D models back. I can only assume the low quality renderings is indicative of the price paid for them. Any art student could have created far better images.
The speedboats will be left high and dry at low tide! 😀


The walkway will not be covered so whoever uses it will need a safety line attached to stop them being blown into the path of a train or off the pier itself! I just dont get the concept if its not being covered as this facility already exists on the pier! I bet the council just want to smarten the old tramway up and it has nothing to do with the pedestrians!
Just a lame excuse! considering the council have not maintained the pier IE Tramway as its now rotten to the core!


Well if the council has anything to do with it God help us.
Unfortunately there track record speaks for itself, they will get the cheapest deal they can and use what’s left to use as they wish. Not always for the good of islanders.
Watch this space


quite right I thought the council was bankrupt, so where is the council getting the money from [ us of course the council tax] it will already be a bad new year what with covid 19. I for one will have trouble paying it anyway a thousand pound is just not possible for me.


With the current crisis Council Tax should be abolished.

Martin Shoebridge

Looks like a fair chunk of car parking will be gone… Hit the motorist, why don’t you ?


Here we go again, something else that the council will claim cost so much to do but when will we see any results before or after the councellors fill there pockets, F–K Y-U Isle of wight Council! Useless bunch of tossers.


Anything that Bob and this council get involved in turns into a disaster ! ! or costs a shed load of extra money and then falls apart within a few years.
Anyway, i thought that ferry company were responsible for the ferry terminal at the pier head, so i hope they are putting all the money towards upgrading their bit.


Hmm. So the project is awarded £56m out of the £96.5m that the scheme will apparently cost. So the shortfall is to be “match funded” by the 3 authorities and their partners. Which means that the IOW council (who, remember, are supposedly nearly bankrupt and struggling so so much) are putting in a good few million. How can this be? Especially with St Marys, the Wight Elephant, Covid, Venture Quays etc. Taking the p**s IWC? And BTW, the numbers talked about here aren’t nearly enough – bringing this scheme to full completion will cost much much more. Who will pay… Read more »


Please don’t let Burness Corlett Three Quays who supplied technical specifications on the Floating bridge or the council get involved the whole thing will collapse after three weeks.

Eastcowes Bill

10 Million for Ryde, for another walkway for wightlink ferry. 3.5 million for the Wight Elephant chain ferry. When is this council going to get a grip with other people’s money.


Really? An investment in pedestrian and cycle use? Exactly what will be th return on that waste of money?


self supporting marina and housing along with water sports to the west of pier far more viable.
Make Canoe lake a master plan, incorporating huge underground car park, ice rink bowling alley bus/ coach park, cinema, indoors sports arena plus concert hall. Hotel. Swimming pool Olympic size.
Food and beverages kids facilities, massive indoor and outdoor area, all paid for by private investment,
Improve link to Newport via train/ dotto/ cycling electric only.


This is what, the third or fourth time a huge amount of money is “promised” to be invested in regenerating the island, yet nothing seems to actually happen. It all just quietly disappears. I wonder where though, hmm …

Arthur Sausage

Where is the council getting all this money from?

If I remember rightly back when OUR council tax was due for review the council said they were millions in debt & had to raise OUR tax to cover shortfall?

Does this mean WE are paying for this via OUR council tax.

Something does not add up here?

Absolute shambles

Linda Brooke

Spare some of this cash for some decent signage – directions to shops, beaches in RYDE. Also adverts where to eat, where to stay. Let’s welcome visitors to RYDE instead of encouraging them to leave as quickly as possible. Would not cost a lot in the greater scheme and would help generate income.

Simon Mesure

Is an idea, like 90% of their ideas, not really thought about. Government love the publics money, and they squander it like they don’t care. What a waste of effort from the public. Its something we have to do, feed the tapeworm living inside and outside our bodies. Nice one, why we vote for them baffling to me. I never have, never will.


I think this is a great idea. Much needed and would look more inviting to visitors to the island rather than the run down pier head. However, I think wightlink should foot most of the bill, as those robbing bast…Ards will make most of the profit. I also hope the pedestrian and cyclist walkway will be non slip. Has anyone ever cycled or walked up the pier when it’s iced over! But not wightlinks problem if you skip and hurt yourself! But I also believe it should be island companies that do the build. Keep it local.

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