Survey shows that Islanders back ambitious tunnel scheme

Islanders showed support for a proposed tunnel linking the Isle of Wight to Gosport
Islanders showed support for a proposed tunnel linking the Isle of Wight to Gosport
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THOUSANDS of people have given their backing to a proposal to build a tunnel to connecting the Isle of Wight to Gosport.

Around 5,000 people took part in the poll set up by Able Connections Ltd to determine whether Islanders wished for alternative options to the existing transport to connect to the mainland.

In total, 3,866 people believed further options should be explored, with 3,921 calling for an independent study into the feasibility of a tunnel to be commissioned.

Able Connections Ltd was set up this year by campaign group Pro-Link to help lobby the government and businesses to get a feasibility study into a £1.2bn scheme.

Under the group’s ambitious plans, two dual-carriageway tunnels – one from Whippingham to a location between Warsash and Browndown in Gosport and another connecting traffic with the M27 would be built.

The study was carried out independently of the group.

Chairman of Pro-Link businessman Carl Feeney said: ‘The results show that Islanders are keen on exploring the feasibility of a fixed link.

‘The plans would help ease the burden of traffic on the Gosport peninsula and would enhance the economy and tourism for those on the Isle of Wight.’

He added that the company recently met with Caroline Dinenage, Gosport MP and that she had expressed an interest in the idea.

The group are set to met with Andrew Turner, Isle of Wight MP soon.

Mr Feeney said: ‘There is definitely an interest from the Isle of Wight Council executive and others about the potential benefits of a fixed link.’

Of those that took part, 87 per cent lived on the Isle of Wight.

Ms Dinenage confirmed the meeting with the company and said: ‘They claim to offer a financial business case to deliver what has historically been prohibitively costly – I’ve agreed to keep an open mind and look more closely at the details when they are available.’