Campaigners on the Isle of Wight say they have convinced the Department for Transport to drop plans for the island’s rail service to become a self-sustaining business.
The 8.5-mile line receives £1 million a year from fares and costs £4.5m a year to run.
It had been proposed to separate the service from Ryde to Shanklin partway through the next South West Trains (SWT) franchise after 2019. Islanders feared this would be a step towards eventual closure of the line, which is in poor condition and uses 1938 London Underground rolling stock.
In 2015, then-Rail Minister Claire Perry announced the intention for the Island Line to become a “separate and self-sustaining business”. This was confirmed in June when the Invitation To Tender was published.
It stated that the franchise winner should “work with the Isle of Wight Council to secure a long-term sustainable solution for the future of the Island Line during the course of the next franchise that will enable it to become a self-sustaining business”.
- For more on this, read RAIL 808, published on August 31.