Living in the Isle of Wight, A bridge too far?
The proposal for a bridge or tunnel connecting he Isle of Wight to the mainland seems to have been around for quite a while but as I've seen several mentions of it recently I thought I would share a few thoughts.
Photo from the Island Echo http://www.islandecho.co.uk/6billion-available-fixed-link/
My first thoughts were, what a great idea! I think everyone complains about the high ferry costs for what is a very short crossing over the Solent and the idea of a bridge or a tunnel for anyone living on the Isle of Wight or visiting seems a really attractive proposition. Surely this would benefit everyone tourists and Islanders alike? To be able to just drive across without the waiting for a ferry or the ever increasing costs. The idea of paying just a toll to cross a bridge or perhaps a combined bridge and tunnel would surely bring in a huge extra revenue into he Island?
However the more I thought about it the more downsides I see.
The traffic on the Island around the more popular areas is already stressful and the thought of thousands of cars adding to it on a nice sunny weekend could bring the whole Island to a gridlock!
Also although some business's would benefit ( shops and restaurants come to mind ) what about all the hotels. guesthouses and B&Bs? I think these would have a major downturn as a lot more people would come over just for the day.
There is also something a little bit special about boarding a ferry to get to the Island that would be completely lost with a fixed link, there is certainly an air of excitement about it which separates it from perhaps having a day out in Portsmouth or Southampton for instance.
So after quite a bit of thought I think sticking with the ferries ( even with the costs ) are a better option, I would be interested to hear other peoples thoughts? Please comment below.