Carl Feeney recently challenged Bob Seely, MP, to aid cancer patients’ travel to the mainland for treatment, by supporting a fixed link.

He has a point. However, the money spent on a tunnel, (the costs of which will, undoubtedly, rise threefold, as such estimates always do), would be better spent on creating a new wing at St. Mary’s with radiotherapy facilities for treating cancer patients, eliminating the need for them to travel to the mainland for treatment.

Radiotherapy facilities are expensive: Cancer Research stated in 2016, that an intensely modulated radiotherapy machine (IMRT) would cost in the region of £1.5 million.

Mr Feeney would be held dear in people’s hearts, if he raised the funds to have radiotherapy facilities here.

Defeat in the election, (he lost his deposit), indicates there’s scant support for a fixed link.

We’ve had two referenda, dating from the 1970s and, as I recall, the No-link majority won by 2:1, on both occasions.

The County Press held one, and I believe the council combined a referendum with an election poll on another.

The majority of Islanders don’t want a fixed link; it’s anathema to the silent majority.

We don’t want the increased crime rate a fixed link would inevitably bring.

A tunnel would permit criminal gangs much easier access to our children as drug carriers (county lines); our vehicles, and our homes.

It would provide a far easier and quicker escape route, too. I don’t think the police would argue that the Island’s crime rate is considerably less than Hampshire’s.

Before it was eventually brought to the Isle of Wight, Covid was kept at bay, for some days, by our Solent ‘moat’.

The County Press pointed to this fact on page 3, of December 10 issue: “The Island is still free of Omicron Covid cases, at the time of going to press, despite being close to Portsmouth and Southampton where cases have been confirmed.”

Covid figures for January 3, 2022, taken from figures for Hampshire and the Island respectively, give the number of Covid cases per 100,000 people, in seven days up to and including January 3, as: Southampton:1,401 (up from 1,172); Portsmouth:1,544 (up from 1,033); Gosport:1,473 (up from 941); Isle of Wight: 900 (up from 659).

On Monday, January, 17, Briony Leyland, of BBC South Today, reported that the Isle of Wight had the lowest number of Covid cases in the country, at just 628 per 100,000.

Doubtless, if we were more easily accessible, our Covid figures and deaths would be much greater.

Many more people would want to settle here. We’d become a dormitory for people working across southern England and the London area.

The whole ethos of the Garden Isle would be changed.

Would we like a fixed link? Absolutely not! Would we like a new hospital wing with facilities for treating more and varied conditions? Oh yes! Yes, please, Mr Feeney!

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