Travel - Getting to and around the Isle of Wight

Commuting

Whilst the majority of residents choose to find employment here on the Island, others prefer to commute on a daily or weekly basis to mainland-based occupations. Alternatively, some mainland residents commute to the Island for work.

Located just off the south coast of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight is separated from the rest of the UK mainland by a stretch of water called The Solent. Consequently the predominant form of transport to and from the Island is by boat, with the distance across the water varying from four to six miles.

Regular car ferry services depart from:
Fishbourne to Portsmouth (40 minutes crossing time)
East Cowes to Southampton (55 minutes crossing time)
Yarmouth to Lymington (30 minutes crossing time)

Foot passengers also have the choice of using the
Hovercraft Service between Ryde Esplande and Southsea (10 minutes crossing time)
or two hi-speed catamaran services;
the Fast Cat from Ryde Pier Head to Portsmouth Harbour (18 minutes crossing time)
the Red Jet from West Cowes to Southampton (23 minutes crossing time)

The hi-speed services are a popular choice for commuters to the mainland as they provide a direct link to South West Trains railway services from both Portsmouth and Southampton, connecting them with frequent mainland work destinations including Winchester, Bournemouth, Basingstoke, Guildford and London.

The Island's ferries are operated by three companies; Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel.

For commuters to the Isle of Wight, Island Line operates on an 8½ mile stretch of track from Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin down the eastern side of the Island. There is also a steam operated heritage railway, the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, which connects with Island Line at Smallbrook Junction, near Ryde.

The Island's bus routes are serviced by Southern Vectis which connect all the Island's major towns.