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December News from Shanklin South & Central. By Cllr Chris Quirk and Cllr Michael Beston

Island Roads Update
On Wednesday 4th November, the Queens Road resurfacing works, at the section of Queens Road from North Road (five ways junction to the Clarendon Road junction) were completed ahead of schedule. The re-application of white & yellow road traffic markings were completed the following day. We would like to thank the Island Roads team for the excellent work. The Queens Road ‘hill climb’ will now certainly be of a more pleasant experience!

 

Carriageway Works in Priory Road - Shanklin
Due to a mechanical breakdown on the first day of the Luccombe Road resurfacing scheme, this has caused delays in the intended start date of the Priory Road resurfacing, this is now scheduled to commence on Tuesday 1st December. In order to mitigate the potential of any further delays to the programme of works and additional shifts required on the Priory Road resurfacing scheme, Island Roads have taken the decision to commence work within phase two of this scheme a day early.
Therefore, vehicle access into Popham Road, Luccombe Road and Priory Road between Church Road and Popham Road will be maintained on Tuesday 1st December. However, vehicle access into Popham Road, Luccombe Road and Priory Road for their entire lengths will be prohibited on Wednesday 2nd December and Thursday 3rd December, the second and third days of the scheme.
This decision will allow Island Roads the highest possible chance to maintain the completion date of Thursday 3rd December. Any updates to these dates will be indicated via yellow advanced warning signs on-site.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience in this matter.
If you would like to speak to someone directly, then please contact the Island Roads Help Desk by telephoning: 01983 822440 or by Email: info@islandroads.com

 

Remembrance Sunday
On Sunday the 8th November, we both laid wreaths at the Shanklin War Memorial to pay our respects and commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. Although this year’s remembrance was somewhat different to past events, it remained as poignant as ever. ‘We Will Remember Them’.

 

Island Line
On Thursday the 19th November 2020, the first of five pairs of “new“ Vivarail Class 484 carriage trains for Island Line were delivered to the Island, arriving on the Wightlink Ferry on a large flatbed trailer. From the terminal the units were transported by road to Sandown, where they were unloaded and introduced onto the tracks.

The KILF campaign group (Keep Island Line in the Franchise) was represented for the arrival of the first train by Steering Group members Cllr. Chris Quirk and Cllr. Michael Beston, who said; “This represents the culmination of our campaign to ensure the future of Island Line, with long overdue investment in rolling stock and infrastructure. We fully support the investment programme that will keep Island Line fit for purpose for many years to come”.
The new trains are set to operate on Island Line from 2021. After four years of planning by South Western Railway, this day marks an important milestone in the overall improvement of rail provision and connectivity from Shanklin all the way through to Ryde and the mainland.
The £26million investment in the future of the Island’s railway is the biggest upgrade the network has seen in over half a century. The fully refurbished rolling stock will enter service in May 2021, following engineering works over the coming months.

As well as new rolling stock, a new passing loop has been created at Brading to help improve the connectivity of the trains with cross-Solent sailings. The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has contributed £1million to fund this new loop.

“This is excellent news for residents, commuters, students and the tourism industry that can now look forward to a much better passenger experience from next May onwards.”

These significant improvements will see half-hourly trains throughout the day, starting earlier and finishing later to provide a more connectable and comprehensive rail service.

New Trains:
 Modern and spacious interiors
 Longer trains during holiday periods and at peak times
 Recharging points accessible from every seat
 Passenger information screens on all trains
 Free on-board Wi-Fi on every train
 Wheelchair spaces and call for aid button

Infrastructure Upgrade:
 New passing loop at Brading Station
 Track enhancement work to improve quality of ride
 Adjustments to platform heights to facilitate new trains and provide level access
 New lease with Network Rail to improve railway assets including investment on Ryde Pier

Other Improvements:
 30 minute interval timetable from May 2021 to improve connections to the mainland
 Free station Wi-Fi at all Island Line stations
 New ticket vending machines at Shanklin-Sandown and Ryde St Johns Road stations

 

Council leader welcomes Island's Tier 1 designation
The leader of the Isle of Wight Council has welcomed the news the Island will be designated a Tier 1 area when the four-week national lockdown across England ends on 2nd December.

Tier 1 — also known as alert level 'medium' — is the least restrictive tier under the government's new three tier system.
Paying tribute to Islanders for their efforts during lockdown, Councillor Dave Stewart said: "Being in Tier 1 gives us back some more of the freedoms we have all battled to secure in everything we are doing to reduce the transmission of the disease.
"Having done this so well, these are freedoms we need to fight to retain so the key messages of hands-face-space continue to apply.
"Please continue to be careful about where you go, who and how you meet because although things are looking up, they can quickly change.
"Taking personal responsibility and making good choices continues to be the best way to protect yourself and those you love from the virus.
"The gradual introduction of vaccines and testing in the coming months will assist us in this challenge, but I can only urge, it is what we all do will make the biggest difference."

Under Tier 1, hospitality businesses can stay open until 11pm with table service only but last orders must be made by 10pm, in an effort to stagger departures. The “rule of six” will also
remain in place indoors, meaning social household mixing is still allowed.
In Tier 1, people will be encouraged to minimise travel and work from home where possible.
Full details are available on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/.../local-restriction-tiers-what-you...

Meanwhile, residents can help to keep the Island safe by taking the following simple steps to limit the spread of the virus:
 Wear a face covering in enclosed environments.
 Maintain social distancing.
 Self-isolate when infection is suspected or confirmed.

Councillor Stewart added: "Let’s remember, there was life before the pandemic and all of the signs are hopeful that we can return to something of that life in 2021. That’s something I hold on to as a make my own plans to follow the guidelines and celebrate Christmas. We have all come too far to throw this opportunity now. So I encourage everyone to keep their eyes on the prize, do the right things, stay safe and make a good plan for next year."
Keep up to date by visiting the www.keeptheislandsafe.org/ website.

Have your say on council spending
Islanders are being invited to give their views on how the Isle of Wight Council should spend its money next year. The authority has launched its budget consultation — and residents, businesses, the voluntary sector and town and parish councils are being encouraged to have their say on spending and service priorities for 2021/22. The council expects to spend around £340 million in the next financial year on areas including schools, social care, refuse collection, street cleaning, planning, regeneration and road maintenance.

Council leader, Dave Stewart said: “We’ve managed our budget very robustly over the past few years, and are determined to deliver a robust, workable and forward-looking budget again next year. Frontline services have been maintained and improved, with improved efficiencies in many areas. Obviously, this year, we have a different challenge with the coronavirus pandemic that remains ongoing, so we have to plan this into our budget analysis for next year too. The views of individuals and representatives from all sectors across the Island are hugely valuable to the shaping of our spending and service priorities for the year ahead. We welcome views from all contributors as we develop an innovative and workable budget — and one which will allow us to continue to provide sustainable services in the future, within a stable financial environment and help us to keep the Island safe.”

You can give your views online over the next six weeks by visiting: www.iow.gov.uk/.../Financial.../Budget-Consultation

If you have, or wish to discuss any particular concern or matter, please contact us on  chris.quirk@iow.gov.uk  07802 705831 or  michael.beston@iow.gov.uk  07885 644426.

With very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year – Chris & Michael.

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