Wightlink Users Group
Wightlink Users Group demonstrate outside County Hall

‘SUFFERING FROM A DUOPOLY’ – WIGHTLINK USERS’ GROUP DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE COUNTY HALL AHEAD OF GOVE VISIT

Bronwyn Hamilton-brown
Bronwyn Hamilton-Brown

A small but noisy group of Wightlink users gathered outside County Hall this morning (Wednesday) ahead of the visit of Conservative politician Michael Gove to the Isle of Wight.

The Wightlink Users Group (WUG) claim to be a community-based initiative seeking better services from the ferry company.

WUG would like to see Wightlink meet the needs of commuters better, as well as those needing healthcare, in education or simply enjoying their leisure time.

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The pressure group claim to be non-political and do not have an opinion on the desirability of a fixed link.

The Wightlink Users Group are demanding:

  • a better timetable that connects with rail services
  • later ferries to and from the mainland
  • discounts for Isle of Wight residents
  • free fares for those requiring hospital treatment and their relatives
  • free parking for those requiring NHS appointments

Bronwyn Hamilton-Brown of the Wightlink Users’ Group told Island Echo:

“We feel that the fares are unfair. There needs to be multilink discounts for friends and family. There are so many elderly people on the Isle of Wight, and their friends are unable to come and see them.

“We have support from all political parties: Labour, Greens and the Lib-Dems. We have even had a donation from our MP.”

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Richard Quigley
Richard Quigley

The demonstration had the support of Labour’s Richard Quigley, who said:

“This isn’t about the Labour Party today. We are trying to put pressure on our Wightlink after our MP has failed to do so. He’s talked a good game but- as with the Island deal – delivered nothing.

“We’re now in the position that are large number of Islanders simply can’t afford to leave the Island. That’s just not acceptable. And that’s before we look at the confusion surrounding NHS patients.”

Councillor Jenny Hicks (Sandown & Lake) – who used to be a football manager – commented:

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“I’m rooting for sport, especially football. Any sporting event is good for business on the Island, but it’s difficult for mainland supporters to come. It’s also near impossible for local teams to compete on North Island.”

The demonstration had the support of many in passing cars and vans – as well as a bus driver – who honked their horns in solidarity with the protestors.

Another protest is planned for tomorrow.

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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.
31 Comments
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Mr Peter
Mr Peter
10 months ago

As I predicted, just five of them. Obviously, hardly any people of the island have issues with the ferries. The prices are not a problem and the service level is as good as can be expected given the weather, etc. These five people must be living in the 1980s.

Ivor Bigggun
Ivor Bigggun
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

Unless your comment was intended to be ” tongue in cheek” , I wonder if there were any other survivors from your planet because you don’t seem to have been on this one recently.

sharon mcnamara
sharon mcnamara
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

When I arrived, there were 15-20 people outside County Hall protesting. There was also a lot of support conveyed from passing vehicles, especially commercial freight, who as captive service ferry users, are as prone to the rip-off racketeering of the unregulated, privatised Essential Transport duopolies as any of us: £32 day return for ‘Cat + train from Sandown…

islanders
islanders
Reply to  sharon mcnamara
10 months ago

ah ha ha ha ….iow population -about 145,000 – numbers protesting – 15 – hardly a ringing endorsement.

perhaps you should look at your grocery bills and note how prices are up far more than any ferry fares are.

things have gone up since the 1970’s you know.

Incredible !!
Incredible !!
Reply to  islanders
10 months ago

Hey idiot, have you ever considered that if ferry prices were cheaper, that food prices would be too ?? Along with many other things… but hopefully if you leave, you will never return..

islanders
islanders
Reply to  Incredible !!
10 months ago

No, the food won’t be cheaper, as it is shipped over in large trucks, whereby the likes of sainsbury/tesco etc have long term deals with the ferry companies

and by the way, insulting someone doesn’t validate your point of view.

if you can’t afford things, you go without and that includes travel.

Mr Peter
Mr Peter
Reply to  sharon mcnamara
10 months ago

Last time I checked £32 is not a king’s ransom. These days, would buy three jars of half-decent coffee or two bottles of half decent wine, or a cheap bottle of bubbly, or two main courses in a bang average restaurant. Alternatively, fish supper for a family or a couple of takeaway curries. Probably as much as I spend a month on petrol on the island. Cheap here.

Incredible !!
Incredible !!
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

another idiot

islanders
islanders
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

that is right peter – £32 aint much these days and anyhow, most of the spongers that are whinging, do £32 quid on booze n baccy on a saturday night out of their benefits.

Clive56
Clive56
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

That’s £32 a day not per month

Mr Peter
Mr Peter
Reply to  sharon mcnamara
10 months ago

Of course, you can get much cheaper deals if you travel regularly to the mainland and you have simply highlighted the highest fare available. Very regular users pay about £4 per trip. Peanuts.

Incredible !!
Incredible !!
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

Hey idiot, have you ever gone to Portsmouth for an evenings worth of entertainment, then tried to get catamaran back ?? Obviously not..

islanders
islanders
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

well said peter – if there weren’t so many pathetic, entitled spongers on the island who expect people to work for peanuts, just to give them cheap tickets, we would all be happier.

Last edited 10 months ago by islanders
John
John
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

Look at those bastards, demanding decent public transport. Who do they think they are, Dutch, Italians, Germans? We British should just accept that we’re poorer! /s

Sam
Sam
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

There were at least 15-20 when I drove past – clearly someone who doesn’t leave their house much as you’d know then how the ferries are taking full advantage of ordinary people.

J.S
J.S
10 months ago

You are wasting your time.
Gove is like this IW Council – useless ****ers

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  J.S
10 months ago

Stop criticizing the Tories! We’ll lose next time if you keep pointing out how bad we are.

Patriotic Islander
Patriotic Islander
10 months ago

Good on them! The Government doesn’t seem to care about Islanders, tourists or the travesty that is the ‘rip off’ ferries basing this incorrect opinion on an out of date report that says everything is fine! Well its not fine, in fact its far from fine, yet the Island still suffers! Its time the people were listened to for a change and something done about those ferry companies that hold the travelling public cruelly to ransom!

Former Commuter
Former Commuter
10 months ago

Bit concerned how much Red Funnel is paying for this?

Surely “Wightlink, Red Funnel & Hovertravel User Group” should be the name?

WRFHUG for a fair deal for Islanders and the Island economy.

I’m wondering if Bob’s donation has kept Red Funnel out of the headlines here?

J.S
J.S
10 months ago

Why should the Government give this incompetent council any more money.

Let’s face it they couod not organise a p*ss up in a brewery.

Works on Bridge at Lake have over run.
Works at Ryde Interchange have over run and is unsafe now.
(They have created an assault course)

The Council employ Useless Island Roads who have 6 or 7 operatives standing around watching
1 operative do the work.

Not to mention Megash*t – oops I mean the megabit works that are taking place across the Island
causing nothing but problems to everyone.

Gove do yourself a favour, keep your wallet in your pocket.

This Council do not know how to spend money wisely

IsleKnow
IsleKnow
Reply to  J.S
10 months ago

The works on Lake Bridge are being done by Network Rail, not the council.

Works at Ryde comes from a national Government grant and not the council.

Island Roads is a private enterprise.

The megabit works, I presume you mean Wight Firbre, also not the council.

Given your complete lack of understanding of what the council does, you should stand in the next council elections.

Mr Peter
Mr Peter
Reply to  IsleKnow
10 months ago

Island Roads is a partnership established by the Isle of Wight Council, VINCI Concessions, Meridiam Investments and Ringway to provide the highway maintenance services on the Isle of Wight from 1st April 2013.

Incredible !!
Incredible !!
Reply to  Mr Peter
10 months ago

amazing you are not a complete idiot !!

Mr Peter
Mr Peter
Reply to  Incredible !!
10 months ago

But you are obviously. Full of nonsensical drivel. Maybe don’t bother coming back next time you go for an “evening’s entertainment in Portsmouth”, which probably only involves licking windows.

J.S
J.S
Reply to  IsleKnow
10 months ago

The Council are still responsible for any works being carried out on the Island
whoever carries out the work.
The Council can Stop works at anytime.

Also IW Council are in partnership with Island Toads.

Wightfibre is a total disaster, who wants a provider who has to dig up
your property to connect you up.

I will never use Wightfibre even if it was Free.

What do the Council actually do apart from increase our council tax
every year.

I have no lack of understanding. I just know when an
Organisation is useless.

My guess is you work for them, hence sticking up for such an
Organisation.

John
John
Reply to  J.S
10 months ago

Eh, I mean… I’m quite happy with my faster broadband? Gigabit is quickly becoming a standard in developed countries.

And transportation systems should be resilient enough to absorb such mild shocks with many alternatives such as cars, buses, trains, cycles and walking complementing each other when some nodes are under maintenance. Today with roadworks to Newport I just took a bike ride instead, it was 7m longer than usual car drive but nothing to panic about.

You usually only have problems if your traffic network is too dependent on one form of transport.

Last edited 10 months ago by John
Big John
Big John
Reply to  John
10 months ago

Little john with a pecker

Only me!
Only me!
10 months ago

Good on them! I suggest advertising on other mediums, think you would get a lot more people..
It’s disgusting £280 return on some days.
Let’s start a revolution….

Jon Hamilton
Jon Hamilton
10 months ago

So just five people turned up ! What a failure !!

Spaff
Spaff
10 months ago

Perhaps if you were working and contributing to society and not standing around with painted bits of cardboard that looks like a 2 year old had drawn people might take you a bit more seriously.

JohnR
JohnR
10 months ago

There is a letter in one of the mainstream Daily Papers today from an IOW woman being charged £292-00 for a return trip Yarmouth to Lymington in August!

 

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