Tag Archives: Isle of Wight Council

Planning approvals sought for Wightlink’s £45million investment in the future

Wightlink Ferries has submitted planning applications to the Isle of Wight Council and Portsmouth City Council for improvements to its terminals at Fishbourne and Portsmouth Gunwharf to support the company’s proposed investment in a new ship for the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route in 2017.

The £45 million investment will be the largest-ever made by the cross-Solent ferry operator.

Earlier this year, hundreds of Wightlink customers, stakeholders and neighbours on both side of the Solent took part in a major consultation on the plans for a new car ferry, similar in size to the present flagship St Clare, along with improvements to the existing terminals including facilities for double deck loading to improve the efficiency and resilience of the ferry service.

More than 500 individuals and organisations gave their views to senior managers at community meetings and drop-in events at both Portsmouth Gunwharf and Fishbourne terminals or commented online or by post. They included Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner, Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, councillors, and people living near the terminals. Presentations were made to Fishbourne Parish Council, Gunwharf Residents Association and the Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays Neighbourhood Forum during the month long consultation period.

Most respondents welcomed the proposed investment, with particular mention made of plans to increase vessel capacity and reliability of the service and cut congestion for passengers. Issues such as traffic movements at both Portsmouth and Fishbourne, ways to reduce noise and light at terminals and the design of the double deck loading ramps were also raised and have been addressed in the planning application documentation.

Isle of Wight Council and Portsmouth City Council will now both hold statutory consultations about the proposals, which are expected to come before councillors for decision early in 2016.

The webpage www.wightlink.co.uk/iftf<http://www.wightlink.co.uk/iftf> will be updated with information about the development.


For more information, please contact Karen Woods 07775 694266 karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk<mailto:karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk>


Karen Woods


Wightlink, Isle of Wight Ferries

Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, PO1 3PS


M: 07775 694266

E: karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk<mailto:karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk>

Visit Isle of Wight Launches New Grant Funding Opportunity

Projects which promote sustainable transport are set for a boost from a new £47,000 grant fund.

Visit Isle of Wight is seeking innovative expressions of interest from tourism businesses to deliver projects which encourage visitors to embrace sustainable transport.

The grant fund is one in a series of projects being delivered through funding from the Isle of Wight Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund initiative during 15/16, which aims to reduce the impact of private cars by encouraging the use of sustainable transport.  Working in partnership with Community Action Isle of Wight, grants will be available for projects that can be delivered by early 2016.

Projects should be described in no more than 500 words initially, setting out the scope of the project, what it will achieve and how much funding is required. The deadline for submission of expressions of interest is 7 October 2015.

Zoe Stroud, LSTF Project Manager at Visit Isle of Wight said “We are looking for innovative and exciting ideas that will encourage visitors to travel sustainably.  The fund is a unique opportunity for local tourism businesses to inspire a new generation of sustainable travellers!”

For more information contact Philippa Daley at Community Action Isle of Wight

Tel: 01983 524058

Email: pdaley@actioniw.org.uk

For full guidance on the application process visit

Drive Less, See More 2 – New Grant Fund



Notes to Editors

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwightpro.com

Our Wightpress site brings you all the latest news and views from the Isle of Wight: http://visitwightpress.com/

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts



With just under four weeks to go until Britain’s fastest cycling teams race into action on the Isle of Wight, the countdown to the Pearl Izumi Tour Series has begun.

On Thursday, 14th May, the Island will host the first round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series – a leading televised cycle race – with the UK’s leading cyclists competing in a fast-paced road race around a 1.2km street circuit in Ryde.

The town centre will be transformed into a high-speed, professional circuit where top-class cyclists will battle it out at speeds of around 30mph in front of packed crowds to gain pole-position on the coveted winners’ podium.

It is expected to attract a host of top names with the brand new Team WIGGINS, formed by 2012 Tour de France winner and Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, the ONE Pro Cycling team of England cricketer Matt Prior and Olympic Champion Ed Clancy all billed to compete.

It was in January that Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW), the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads made the announcement that after months of negotiation, they had been successful in securing this prestigious sporting event – one of the UK’s leading televised cycle races – to the Island.

Visit Isle of Wight is using this opportunity to promote Bicycle Island as “the home of cycle holidays”, and encourage visitors to travel around the Island more sustainably on bikes.

Races and activities will be held throughout the day from 12.30pm for local school children aged 10 and 11, followed by an afternoon of support races with keen local cyclists, ahead of the professionals taking to the circuit from 3pm for the Tour Series Team Time Trial.

The exciting Tour Series Race starts at 7.30pm giving spectators a close-up view of the athletes as they race from the start/finish line on The Esplanade, then a challenging climb up Union Street before going along Cross and Melville Streets to the big downhill on Dover Street that heads back down to The Esplanade.

The Team Race, open to nine teams comprising of four cyclists, is a highly popular and competitive event. Registered entrants have the chance to ‘test their mettle’ around the circuit and against the clock. The team with the fastest lap times will be presented with winners’ medals on the professional podium.

Taking place at 10 venues around the UK in May and June, the star-studded sporting event will use a circular route around the town on Thursday, 14th May.   Hosting the first leg of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, the Isle of Wight is expecting crowds of up to 10,000 to come out and enjoy the race.

A series of Visit Isle of Wight advertisements promoting the race and the Island’s cycle holiday offer are live right now in influential sporting magazines, websites and on social media.

“David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “We’re delighted to have the first leg of this elite race series, which should provide a boost to the local economy with lots of visitors coming to watch the race.

“Additionally, the TV exposure on ITV4 will help us to showcase Bicycle Island across the UK as a premium cycle holiday destination.”

Councillor Shirley Smart, Isle of Wight Council Executive member for economy and tourism, said: “The Pearl Izumi Tour series is a wonderful opportunity for the Isle of Wight to showcase what we have to offer.

“The streets of Ryde, with the backdrop of stunning views of the Solent, will make for a superb location.

“When the 2011 NatWest Island Games were held on the Isle of Wight, residents gave the athletes a huge welcome in Ryde and I am sure we will see similar celebrations again.”

Paul Herbert, Island Roads Service Director said: “This is an important event for the Island not just on the day itself but for the potential it has to profile the Isle of Wight as a cycling destination.  We are working hard to ensure that the roads that form the race circuit in Ryde are in the best condition for the cyclists taking part and, at the same time, that we continue our work to improve roads across the Island for cyclists and indeed all road users for many years to come.”

Launched in 2009, 2015’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series – put together by the same team behind the organisation and promotion of the Tour of Britain – takes place in 10 town and city centres and is the only British domestic cycle race to be televised.

For more information about the Isle of Wight Pearl Izumi Tour Series, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk


Press contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors

Images attached: (1) VIOW ad for use in cycling magazines (2) Riders in Action at 2014 Tour Series Round in Barrow – Copyright – Pearl Izumi Tour Series.

The link to the media accreditation process can be found at www.thetour.co.uk/press or reached directly via http://accreditation.thetour.co.uk    Please note that applications for Pearl Izumi Tour Series rounds should be made no later than 72-hours prior to the round which you wish to attend.

Round One                 Thursday 14 May        Ryde, Isle of Wight (including Team Time Trial)

Round Two                 Tuesday 19 May         Redditch

Round Three               Friday 22 May             Aberystwyth (including Hill Climb)

Round Four                 Tuesday 26 May         Motherwell

Round Five                 Thursday 28 May        Durham

Round Six                   Friday 29 May             Barrow

Round Seven              Tuesday 2 June          Croydon

Round Eight                Thursday 4 June         Canary Wharf

Round Nine                 Tuesday 9 June          Peterborough

Round Ten                  Thursday 11 June       Bath


The nine teams for the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be JLT Condor presented by Mavic; Madison Genesis,  NFTO Pro Cycling, ONE Pro Cycling, Pedal Heaven RT, SportGrub Kuota; Team Raleigh – GAC; Team WIGGINS; and Velosure Starley Primal.  Joining them will be one guest team per round.

About The Pearl Izumi Tour Series

2015 will be the seventh season of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, a unique team based, televised city centre cycling series organised by SweetSpot Group Ltd, the company behind the organisation and promotion of The Tour of Britain and The Women’s Tour.  The Pearl Izumi Tour Series brings together the very best in British professional teams and riders, competing on town and city-centre circuits in front of packed crowds as a part of a full day of cycling activities.

SweetSpot is a sports marketing and events company specialising in the creation and execution of high quality, commercially successful, annual sporting events.

You can follow The Pearl Izumi Tour Series on Twitter @TourSeries #tourseries or Facebook or via the official website at www.tourseries.co.uk

For further press information, logos and images, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Peter Hodges              PR Manager               peterh@thetour.co.uk             01932 831 485

Grace Metcalf             PR Manager               grace@thetour.co.uk              01932 831 485


The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is being funded by VIOW and LSTF – the project which aims to improve and promote the Island’s sustainable transport network – with support from Island Roads, Ryde Town Council, Ryde Business Association, Southern Vectis and ferry operators Wightlink and Red Funnel.   For more information, go to  http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/the-pearl-izumi-tour-series-p1137591

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

To find out more about Bicycle Island, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk



A conference to discuss the future of tourism on the Isle of Wight has been hailed a success.

Organised by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) and the IW Chamber of Commerce, the full-day event was held on Tuesday 24th February at Park Resorts, Thorness Bay, near Cowes, Isle of Wight. The conference attracted more than 200 attendants, including representatives from tourist organisations and those involved in local hospitality businesses.

The programme of presentations was delivered by speakers who all have experience in the tourism industry: James Berresford, Chief Executive Visit England, David Marsh, Chairman Greater Yarmouth Tourism, John Allen, Chairman Tourism Advisory Board, Ian Stephens, Chairman LGA Tourism, Culture and Sport Board, David Groocock, President IW Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Smith CEO, IW Chamber of Commerce, Simon Dabell, Chairman Visit Isle of Wight and David Thornton, CEO Visit Isle of Wight.

Visit Isle of Wight focused on developments since the DMO was set up just over two years ago and James Berresford provided a wider perspective on tourism trends from businesses and from the national organisation Visit England.

The importance of digital marketing was the theme of the presentation from Steve Keenan of Travel Perspective and Robin Hamman of Cybersoc talked about the importance of social media and how to avoid the pitfalls.

The 2015 tourism conference also featured interactive workshops, visiting exhibitors and networking sessions in order to allow tourism operators the chance to network and to maximise their business potential.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “The importance of exchanging information and ideas, developing joint promotions, celebrating successes, discussing issues and seeking achievable solutions and working together in partnership to promote the Island as a high-quality visitor destination was a message all received loud and clear.

“VIOW welcomes the continued support of the IW Council and the Tourism Advisory Board, and looks forward to taking tourism on the Island to a whole new level.”

David Thornton brought the conference to a close with an upbeat presentation on the DMO’s campaigns, promotions and events coming up in 2015. These include Acoustic Isle, an initiative by VIOW to attract visitors during the off-peak period. Starting this Thursday, 26th February, the event will feature more than 100 live performances over 10 days under the Acoustic Isle banner. Full details of the other gigs on offer during Acoustic Isle can be found by visiting www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/acoustic-isle

A report on the 2015 Tourism Conference is now available at www.visitwight.org


For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors:

Image shows David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight and James Berresford, CEO VisitEngland, at the Isle of Wight Tourism Conference.

Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight. As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org


Nearly 20,000 trips have been recorded on a newly resurfaced shared-use path between Shanklin and Wroxall in the last three months.

The four kilometre route, which runs between Lower Hyde and Yarborough Road, has automatic counters installed at each end which record the number of trips on a daily basis.

The route has recently been fully resurfaced using funding from the Isle of Wight Council’s Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism project, which is funded through the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).

The route has had a new bitumen and gravel surface laid on top of a cement bound base. The gravel dressing provides a natural colour to the surface and is designed to be in keeping with the rural surroundings of the route, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Previously, the surface was prone to flooding which resulted in large mud patches. It is now suitable for many types of user, including families with pushchairs, wheelchair and mobility scooter users, cyclists, walkers and horse riders.

The route runs over council owned land and use was formally on a permissive basis, but as part of the project it has been designated as a bridleway, securing its future as a designated right of way.

The £400,000 scheme was carried out on behalf of the council by Island Roads.

Councillor Luisa Hillard, Executive member for sustainability, environment and public realm, said: “The Shanklin to Wroxall route is a very popular one and the newly resurfaced path is a fine example of the improvements the Isle of Wight is benefitting from under the LSTF scheme. The statistics showing the number of times people have used the path since June are very impressive.

“This is another example of the council’s commitment to providing quality shared routes across the Island. We are aiming to improve the standard of the walking and cycling infrastructure on the Island, not only as a benefit for local residents, but also as a means of encouraging more people to visit the Island and travel around by foot, cycle or on public transport”.

Ken Thomas, 87, from Shanklin had the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open the path and he was joined by numerous users including walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

He uses a mobility scooter to get around and added: “This path is a superb facility for people like me who rely on a mobility scooter. This is because on pavements you can get in the way of pedestrians whereas here I can come for three miles, have a wonderful day out and really enjoy myself.”

Visit Isle of Wight is currently marketing the Island as a top cycling destination, and the organisation’s sustainable transport marketing executive Tom Ransom said: “It is great to see the council investing in this popular shared use path.

“Improving facilities such as these helps supports tourism activities such as the Red Squirrel Trail. This has been tailored for cyclists and part of this follows this route between Shanklin and Wroxall. It is an important part of Visit Isle of Wight’s Bicycle Island cycle tourism offer and was recently featured in the Guardian newspaper as one of the country’s top family rides.”

The works were carried out in two phases, with track widening, drainage and vegetation clearance taking place in 2013. The resurfacing of the route was completed earlier this year. The route was officially opened on Monday 29 September.

Notes to Editors:

Please find attached a photo of the official opening on Monday 29 September, where representatives from many types of users of the path were in attendance. Please credit Isle of Wight Council if you use this photo.
Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer
Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254
Mob: 07976 347636
Email: simon.butler@iow.gov.uk


It is now easier for cyclists to take their bicycles to areas across the Island using public transport instead of their cars.

The Isle of Wight Council is working with Southern Vectis to provide bike storage facilities on four buses. The buses, which are the existing ‘Coaster’ route vehicles, have been converted to each store up to six bicycles at a time using money from the council’s sustainable transport access to tourism project, which is funded by the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).

Four journeys will leave per day from either Ryde or Yarmouth, with some extended to include East Cowes and Newport, providing a round-the-Island connection for cyclists. It will mean cyclists can now visit local attractions or areas they would normally drive to using public transport instead with their bicycles.

Luisa Hillard is the council’s Executive Member for sustainability and welcomes the new buses. She said: “This project is part of the council’s commitment to promoting greener, car-free tourism on the Island. It will support cyclists getting from the ferries, to and from their accommodation and to the tourist attractions in more remote locations and will be particularly useful for those who may not feel able to cycle long distances but enjoy cycling locally.

“This is just one of many other exciting projects which are benefiting from government funding to improve the cycling infrastructure for visitors and locals and will strengthen the reputation of the Isle of Wight as one of the best places for a cycling holidays in the world.”

General manager of Southern Vectis, Matt Kitchin added: “The Coaster route has proven to be tremendously popular as it is a great way to see the Island and visit attractions without the hassle of driving. The addition of space for bikes on board gives more opportunities for cyclists to get out and about, enjoying the scenery without relying on a car.”

The Island’s destination management organisation Visit Isle of Wight has recently launched its ‘Bicycle Island’ scheme which is aimed at bringing more cycle tourists to the Island. Tom Ransom from Visit Wight is responsible for promoting cycle tourism and said: “Having the bike buses is a really valuable addition to our cycle friendly reputation. It makes cycle touring more accesible to all by providing a service to those of us who perhaps do not have thighs like those of Chris Hoy. Combining a bus trip with a bike ride allows people to be bolder and go further, without needing to use a car for transport”.

The newly converted Coaster buses will begin service from 5 April and will run daily until 28 September. There is no charge to carry bicycles on the buses other than the normal passenger fare.

The mechanism used for storing the bicycles has been designed by two local engineering students

Notes for editors

Please credit Isle of Wight Council if you use any this photo which shows bicycles in use on one of the storage racks.   Other photos are available on request.

The Isle of Wight Council’s Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism project is a £3.95 million project that is funded through the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Funding was won in the summer of 2012 and the programme continues until March 2015.

The Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism project involves improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure, public transport services and the provision of improved passenger transport information. In addition, the project is funding extensive marketing of the Island as a destination for “green” travel holidays. This element is being delivered by Visit Isle of Wight, the Island’s tourist board.

The overall aim of the project is to encourage more people to use sustainable travel as opposed the car while on holiday, as well as boosting the local economy by attracting increased numbers of visitors who come to the Island and travel sustainably.

Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer

Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254

Mob: 07976 347636

Email: simon.butler@iow.gov.uk