Improvements to the Floating Bridge and Highways PFI contract have been promised by the Isle of Wight Council’s new head of transport.
Taking on the job is Councillor Phil Jordan, who has recently been re-elected to the Isle of Wight Council after helping Ryde Town Council secure major investments in some of the town’s biggest assets — including its harbour.
Cllr Jordan will be taking over the position from Cllr Ian Ward, who oversaw projects including the upgrading of St Mary’s Junction, the installation of the Floating Bridge and the end of the core investment period of the Highways PFI contract.
One of the issues Cllr Jordan will face and try to determine a solution to is the Floating Bridge which, since its instalment in 2017, has been plagued with difficulties. The council is trying to recoup some of its money on the floating bridge, which was bought by the last independent administration in 2015, through ongoing legal action and mediation.
The first 7-year phase of the highways PFI ended last year, although work is still being done to improve the Island’s roads. Recent roadworks and the declining nature of some already repaired carriageways, however, have caused Islanders to be concerned about how well the PFI is really working.
Phil Jordan says he will start making positive decisions to both of those issues: making improvements to the PFI contract and looking at the options for the Floating Bridge, ensuring there is ‘a permanent, sustainable and efficient crossing’. When asked about the possibility of a Medina Bridge, he said he had not thought about it yet.
Speaking about the alliance of opposition parties to secure victory over the Conservative party, installing Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox as leader of the council, Cllr Jordan said he hoped it would be a positive change for the Island and its community.
Back in 2016, Phil Jordan was in the headlines for the wrong reasons when he was convicted of drink driving. He stepped down from his role as head of public protection.
The first cabinet meeting of the Isle of Wight Council, following the 6th May election, which will see Cllr Jordan and fellow councillors in their roles for the first time, is on 10th June.
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