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Isle of Wight Steam Railway - Ferry Problem

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by burmister, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thing is though, a fixed link would take out all bar one of the most obvious problems, and thats one of not having to fit in to a timetable and risk missing your slot, if you could just turn up and go, so whats a fair fee, £ 10,00 each way? per car? high enough to make most people think twice but far far cheaper than the ferry charges you plus a tunnel's cost can be charged over its expected life span So a lower fee can be charged over a longer period.
     
  2. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    A "fair" fee won't necessarily pay for the building of the link. You need to do the sums for the cost of the project, the financing and the day to day running. Divide all that by a hopefully accurate estimate of the number of vehicles using it, based on the price itself (fewer people will use it regularly if it's more expensive). Then you have to find a location for the link, overcome the objections on various grounds and check the geology to find out if it's actually going to stay up ...
     
  3. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Stay up? a Tunnel, i would be more concerned about whats outside staying outside and the wight liberation front for the liberation of the Isle of Wight trying to close it off with tractors and trailors full of manure:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 11:25 AM
  4. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

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    The population of the IOW is approx. 140000 (less than Reading) in the modern world of badly needed infrastructure projects that never get built due to budget constraints/objections and endless planning enquiries the business case will never stack up. Hampshire Council is all but bust so nothing will come from them.
     
  5. Romsey

    Romsey Active Member

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    Many years ago, there was another view on the ferry "problem".

    Uffa Fox, the Cowes based sailor and dingy designer suggested that the Isle of Wight should be towed over 12 miles out into the channel allowing duty free to be sold on the Red Funnel ferries....

    Cheers, Neil
     
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  6. Romsey

    Romsey Active Member

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    And I thought it was only politicians who were full of it .....
    (Yes I know my spelling on here can be a bit odd as well.)

    Cheers, Neil
     
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  7. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    :oops::oops: spelling now corrected
     
  8. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

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    Funny, nobody had even mentioned the politics of this situation but clearly some posters are obsessed with seeing 'reds under ever bed'!

    Now you do mention this angle, 'affordable' ferry fares in Scotland (and everyone has a different idea of 'affordable' of course!) are assisted by state subsidy like many other types of public transport, on the basis that communities need practical, affordable transport links and incoming traffic generates jobs and wealth, in this case on the Island, enabling people to live there and pay local and national taxes. Such subsidies also mean that the authority paying it has an influence over what services are operated (I shall pause while some members recover conscientiousness at the thought of having such a 'jack-boot of state control' affecting their, or actually in this case, probably somebodyelse's, lives), which should mean the service is responsive to both community and other users needs.

    Does the Isle of Wight Council provide any such subsidy - or would that be against their political beliefs? If not, perhaps that is where local politicians could usefully address their efforts, rather than sounding off about hugely expensive solutions with huge potential consequences for the way of life on the island (that said, I understand many locals on Skye were longing for the bridge so that they could leave or come back to the island when they needed to, not just when ferries ran).

    Steven
     
  9. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    What are the loadings like on the ferries? I haven't been for a few years, but last time I went it was about 9am on a November Sunday morning and the ferry was pretty full, as was the return in the evening. The fares weren't horrendous, but still not what I would call cheap, but it certainly wasn't putting people off. If they're filling the ferries at the prices they're charging, maybe they're too cheap! ;)
     
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  10. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    The Isle of Wight Council does not provide any subsidy to the Ferry companies, it is struggling like most councils. The Scottish Ferry subsidy comes from the Scottish government, what's more I believe the Ferry company is State owned.
     
  11. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    The Ferries can be chock a block full, but I take that as no justification to raise the fares even higher. I have retired now and am on little more than the State pension, I doubt that I will ever be able to afford to take my car on the Ferry again. We are going to Salisbury on Saturday, our two tickets for the Fastcat and train cost less the car Ferry fare alone.
     
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  12. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    define too cheap? The problem is one of affordability wages on the IOW are at best low, and unlike the mainland people have to use a ferry to get off the island anywhere else on the UK and either a fixed link or some local form of discount would be done As i see it the problem is that from what Gary is pointing out that even with an island discount, fares are still to high for many island residents
     
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  13. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    Miss the ferry to my island and you'll wait 12 hours.
     
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  14. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    At least you have the option of flying.
     
  15. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    True, maybe they should build a public transport network connecting with the ferry covering the whole island to cater for foot passengers.... oh, wait they did that a century or more ago.....
     
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  16. burmister

    burmister New Member

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    Ah Uffa Fox a noted sailor. In Channel Pilot books he claimed to be able to locate Cherbourg in dense fog ( no GPS or Decca chains then) by the smell of Coal dust and Whores on the Quaysides.

    I made my first visit over to the Island for the Diesel Gala this autumn since 2009 and made sure I prebooked. Travelled on the large ferry both ways, going out only 10 cars and 10 articulated lorries so must have made a loss on that trip. Coming back to Portsmouth the Ferry gobbled up dozens and dozens of cars, Fishbourne car park was full and I loaded and unloaded via the new top deck ramps. Whole ferry got on and off in very little time, less than 45mins from start to load to getting out of the terminal at Portsmouth and living in GTR land it was a far better way to travel than our cancelled, uncomfortable West Coastway trains. New ramps and Ferries ( think another jumbo ferry due next year) must be quite an investment so this has to be paid for I guess. I wonder if the new Jumbo ferries might mean a less frequent service though.

    Brian
     
  17. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    How things change.
    In connection with a small display of railway shipping photographs being arranged for Havenstreet next year, I came across a photograph of motor vehicles being unloaded at Fishbourne just before the era of roll-on, roll-off. Somebody had entrusted their 14/40 M type Vauxhall (a high end make then) to a glorified rowing boat which evidently had been brought across the Solent by the tug waiting offshore. Would we dare to do this now?

    Paul H
     
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  18. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Saying about that, i know of a Vauxhall ten that was exported to the Island in early 1939, when it was registered, so that must have been via a simular method, were there roll on roll off car ferries then? and some 60 years later it returned to the mainland on the fishbourne car ferry,on a trailer i know because i was the person who bought it from a person in Cowes, and it still had a 1966 tax disk on it and the wartime light coverings . it was my plan to restore it and bring it back over, but unfortunatly i had to let it go .
     
  19. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    The tow boats went around the end of the twenties at about the time the mass production of motor cars was getting really established. The M type Vauxhall was not a mass produced vehicle. However it was not the car which did in the train but the motor bus and World War II only delayed this.

    Shipping services to the I.O.W. are worthy of study. There were some very odd ships which were double ended, like conjoined twins with funnels out of line. The Duchess of Fife was a conventional paddler but the "flyer" of the fleet (16kts). We have a couple of relics of her at Havenstreet which show what a different age it was. Both the silver plated milk jug and the sherry glass have her name engraved on them. On an Isle of Wight ferry!

    Paul H
     
  20. dlaiow

    dlaiow New Member

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    The country is spending large amounts of £ of infrastructure projects on the big island and as all/most islanders are tax payers why cant some of the money pay for an infrastructure project for us?
     

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