The government needs to step in and limit the excessive charges being levied by the ferry companies. Island residents should not be held to ransom like this.

Holidaymakers coming to the Island have a choice — if they don't like the fares they can vote with their feet and stay away.

We residents have no such option. We are forced to use either Wightlink or Red Funnel to visit the mainland.

My 84-year-old sister has been on her own in Nottinghamshire for almost a year and with the easing of lockdown I decided it's time to visit her as she has two troubling medical conditions.

I am totally flexible about travel dates so I thought it best to head to the mainland on a Friday and return Monday when most people are travelling in the opposite direction.

My preferred times with Wightlink would cost me £132.75 return!

By taking the very last ferry on the Friday and returning at 5.50am on the Monday I could reduce this to £87.25 — still an extortionate amount.

Driving 200 miles at such times would be quite unsafe. Red Funnel were little better, charging £110.25 for my preferred times.

What I find especially frustrating is that if I make both journeys on the same day Red Funnel will only charge £43.50.

It makes absolutely no difference to them which day I return so how can they justify doubling the fare?

I just can't afford these kinds of fares so I won't go.

Instead I will sit on the quayside at Yarmouth and watch half empty ferries ply their way to Lymington.

And while on the subject of costs, when I moved to the island in 2015 my council tax was £1,890 and in the current year it is £2,544 — that's a 34.6 per cent increase in just six years.

In the same period my pension has increased just 12.2 per cent.

How is that possibly justifiable?

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