Island Line sandown station

Isle of Wight Council has met with officials from the UK Department for Transport (DfT) to discuss the government’s plans for the South West Trains franchise and the future of Island Line.

The DfT has confirmed that an Isle of Wight train service will be included in the next South West Trains franchise.

The Council noted that the DfT were keen to understand the community needs for Island Line and will look forward to seeing the options appraisal report by Atkins, commissioned last week.

Run by South West Trains, the Island Line services operate a 13.7km route from Ryde Pier Head to Brading, Sandown, Lake and Shanklin using former London Underground (LU) tube trains.

"We will find the right solution for the future of Island Line."

Isle of Wight Council deputy leader councillor Stephen Stubbings said: "The meeting with the DfT was extremely positive and constructive.

"It gives me great hope that together with the DfT and local stakeholders, we will find the right solution for the future of Island Line."

In addition, the DfT wants to see greater community involvement with the Island Line service within the franchise specification and will continue to talk to the council regarding this.

Later this year, a DfT consultation will be carried out with stakeholders, including the public on the franchise specification.

The DfT, which will look at all aspects of the Island’s transport infrastructure, has also provided support to get the work of the Island Infrastructure task group underway.

Image: Island Line to remain part of South West Trains franchise in 2017. Photo: courtesy of Isle of Wight Council.