MP Bob Seely has urged the government to recognise the importance of investment in the Island Line when he spoke in a parliamentary rail debate today.
Bob told the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling that he supports South Western Railway’s investment recommendation, or priced option, for the line that will be submitted to his Department next week but asked: “Can the minister assure me that the government understands the importance of the Island line to the Island and the importance of investment in it - in track, railway and stations such as Ryde Pier Head, which is on the pier, and Ryde Esplanade, which is a key gateway?”
He added: “Is he aware of my strong support for a feasibility study into extending the Island line south and west?
The minister told MPs Bob had been has “an excellent champion” for the Island Line since his election and added: “I can assure him that the Rail Minister and I will be taking careful note of the plans as they come through, and we will work with him to try to find the best way to ensure that his constituents have the best service that it is possible to deliver to them in future.”
Speaking afterwards Bob said: “Island Line needs substantial investment and I’m pleased progress toward this happening is gathering pace. We need a much better gateway onto our Island and we need a feasibility study to look at extending the route.
“I am pleased the Minister has been clear that his Department will look carefully at SWR’s proposals, which draw on the input of many key stakeholders on the Isle of Wight, including the specialist knowledge of the team at the IW Steam Railway.”