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Welcome to the Solent Tunnel plan website.....let us tell you about the story so far. 

For several months during the summer and Autumn of 2014 the "Are Wightlink the Right link?" Facebook group has been consistently bombarded by posted complaints from disgruntled customers using the Isle of Wight ferry companies.

That was the first successful Facebook group that draws attention to the problems of Island/Mainland travel and gives the public a single voice to air their grievances or concerns. Much time has passed but no action has been sufficient to alleviate the problems. It transpires that the only inevitable action is to find a solution that is alternative to ferry companies. Many on that Facebook group complain of high tickets prices, unreliable ferry transport and the inability to travel at leisure at any time of the day. The only solution to these major drawbacks of using inefficient ferry transport is a fixed link.

It is an incredibly emotive subject for islanders. Some were born here, some moved here as a child and some have moved recently to adjust to island life. Everyone seems to have a different opinion, not necessarily whether they would prefer a fixed link, but in the details. The "Are Wightlink the Right link?" Facebook group is really more concerned with airing grievances and discontentment with the ferry companies as opposed to finding a solution to the problems.

In late September 2014 Kevin Price decided to take it upon himself to write to the Ministry of transport and find out if there was a solution that could be suggested? The reply stated that the Ministry of transport had a transport infrastructure fund of £6 billion allocated for projects up to the year 2021. They also confirmed that no one had ever made a request to gain access to this fund for fixed link transportation to the Island. Kevin Price then contacted his friend Carl Feeney who was also particularly interested in finding a solution and the two teamed up.

Kevin organised a meeting with local MP Andrew Turner to show him the letter and discuss plans for a potential island referendum to find out the sentiments of islanders regarding a fixed link. Mr Turner stated that he would support a referendum if it could be established that most people on the Isle of Wight would support a fixed link....he said that no one before had ever come to him with such a proposal. 

After that meeting Carl set up the Facebook group the "Isle of Wight fixed Link Referendum Debate". Islanders were free to join the group whether they wanted a fixed link or not and debate on the subject ensued. The group after two weeks now, has over 4000 members. The debates have been very enlightening and from these, it has become clear as to the fears or expectations some Islanders feel towards a fixed link.

This Facebook group has grown national and local media attention. It is appearing as though this fixed link referendum proposal is getting more support than expected. The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, has been made aware as well as BBC South Today doing a report on 16th November in which Andrew Turner stated clearly that a plan must be presented before any referendum could take place. After that interview, a request was put on the Referendum Forum for a person skilled in pictorial presentations using web based mediums to present a potential fixed link plan option that Carl Feeney had discovered. Rob Forrest answered that request and has worked all hours voluntarily to have this ready in time.  During that time George Bristow of Bembridge has acted as the Spokesperson for the fixed link referendum campaign.

This website shows a potential plan that may be realistic or perhaps another plan would be better?.....but it is a plan and as engineers were consulted beforehand, it is feasible. It has been produced with no expense apart from lots of time taken to provide information as we see it. We believe this design gives opportunities to islanders to improve their lifestyle and business possibilities and reduce traffic congestion and vehicular use. In order for an economy to grow, communication and fast transport is imperative. 

This is not a quick fix, this is a permanent solution to a continual problem and we believe, has the scope to keep the Island lifestyle, business and economy progressing for decades to come. 

We are hoping that with this plan or evolved plan, that a fair and democratic referendum will be held in conjunction with the May general election to decide whether Islanders want to be free from total ferry reliance, or if they feel the ferries are the way to continue with no alternative? If we say "no" we can put the matter to bed. If it's a "yes" we can hopefully go on to the next stages of politics, securing funds, working out the many details and then build.

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