Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Cabinet Connection – Cllr Phil Jordan, Cabinet member for infrastructure, highways PFI and transport

2 min read

I’m incredibly pleased to announce that we are beginning to roll out the rental of e-bikes in some key towns. These are part of the ongoing e-scooter trial scheme and government funding has provided the opportunity to evaluate these alternative modes of transport.

At a meeting on Tuesday (June 21), Solent Transport agreed to provide the funding for staffing and a trial roll out of e-bikes on the Island and we now are bringing that forward at some speed. We are looking at Cowes, Newport, Ryde, and Sandown as trial spots, but we do hope this can be extended to other areas if the scheme gets sufficient support from users.

Another great step forward is an upcoming app designed for mobile phones that will, when operational this year, allow a one-stop ticketing solution across the entire Solent region. The ability to buy a ticket to travel anywhere on any transport is an exciting idea and much work and development has gone into bringing this forward. The obvious trains, buses, and ferries in one ticket is a given, but we are also extending this to e-scooters and e-bikes as part of the one-ticket experience for any journey across the Solent area. The app will deliver much more than just ticketing, but more on that as we approach the launch later this year.

In another exciting development, we are collaborating with partners and Solent Transport to implement a drone delivery of medical drugs for chemotherapy to the Island. It is a difficult thing to put in place because of licences, flight paths, CAA approval and more, but a trial is expected sometime soon.

This could be a big change for Islanders undergoing some treatments on the mainland as this would provide the necessary drugs onto the Island as needed and thereby preventing the need for patients to travel across the Solent as currently happens.

There is a long way to go to get this operational but, with determination and working through the issues we face, I am hopeful and enthusiastic this could be a life-changing development if, or when, we implement a full service.

Trials are due to take place shortly.