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Railwatch 081 - October 1999

Island hoping

The Isle of Wight Council supported a proposal by Island Metro on 27 May for the reintroduction of the island's railways, by including light rail corridors within the Local Transport Plan. This will aid reduction of the dependence on the use of the private car.

Island Metro is looking for participants to form a design, build, operate and maintain consortium to create phase 1 of its proposal.

Phase 1 will upgrade the Ryde to Shanklin line to tramway standards and link Newport with Sandown and Ryde, using new electric trains. Phase 1 includes 'in-town' running for Shanklin and Newport as well as a feeder system using eco-friendly buses enabling the formation of a progressive integrated transport network.

The island depends heavily on its ability to attract the tourist and suffers with an 'over-load' of traffic, especially in summer. The island is unable to expand the road system due to the lack of land space and, more importantly, the very detrimental effect on the island's natural beauty, and its tourist industry.

It is vital that the island continues as a welcome holiday destination, and that the natural beauty is preserved as much as possible. An alternative form of transport, not dependent on the island's roads, needs to be started now. Island Metro's proposal is designed to relieve the road system by creating a nonpolluting alternative, and a tourist attraction in its own right.

Contact: Roger Berrisford, Island Metro, 3 Alvington Close, Carisbrooke, N Newport, Isle of Wight

Island Metro is a project group of the International Institute of Rail Electrification Engineers

Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.

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