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The Cowes Floating Bridge will remain out of service for the whole of August, with no date set for it’s return – which could be months.

Island Echo is told that the troubled Floating Bridge No.6 could be out of action for a further 8 weeks whilst the hydraulic system is overhauled. The hydraulic oil has been described as a ‘silver sludge’.

The East Cowes to Cowes service was temporarily halted for regular maintenance on 14th July, but whilst undergoing tests prior to returning to service, a major fault with the hydraulic system was identified. The shipbuilders and their approved contractors investigated this and advised the council that the vessel could not return as originally planned.

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Arrangements have been made to remove some of the main components of the hydraulic system including the main drive and auxiliary pumps and motors, so they can be fully examined and inspected, cleaned and repaired in the workshops. This work will commence on Monday, although the Council say this work may identify more faults.

The Isle of Wight Council has issued a statement this afternoon (Saturday). They say:

“A programme has been developed with our shipbuilders to carry out this work and by the end of August we will know the cause, extent of the issue, date for completion of the works and return to service.

“Progress on the repairs, and the expected return to service will be closely monitored, and any changes will be communicated to the media and key stakeholders and posted on social media”.

Today’s statement does not confirm a date for the return of the floating bridge, but does clearly state that it won’t be back in service this month.

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The launch service for foot passengers will continue to operate from 05:00 – 23:00 (06:30-23:00 on Sundays) at expense of the tax payer.

The Isle of Wight Council apologises for any inconvenience caused by this ongoing disruption to the service.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Perhaps the maritime consultants Burness Corlett three quays and the council project manager
would like to speak to the press to explain their incompetence. Perhaps the consultants might like
to return there fees.


Faceless idiots…

Nick Black

And we all know why the floating bridge will be out of service for so long….
No Cowes week this year, so no ‘urgency’ to provide a service.
Never mind the complete chaos that this along with St Mary’s works and tree cutting on Forest Road have/are causing….

Bob miller

Absolute waste of tax payers money

Bob Frapples

What’s a floating bridge?

Sheila Ferguson

September? Which year?


I don’t know, but your grandchildren will have to sort it out…

Martin Shoebridge

Hahahaah precicely.!

Old Mike

Now here’s an idea – lay chains from Dover to Calais, hook on the Floating Bridge to the Calais end, give free tickets to all the wouldbe immigrants and let it keep breaking down. Two problems solved!

Old bean

What a pile of shit watch out islanders council tax will be going up to pay for this would of been cheaper to build tunnel/ bridge hope you councilers are proud of yourself o no you don’t give a shit


This is beyond a joke. This surely is becoming a national disgrace,not only an Island one. A proper enquiry needs to be conducted, and the findings acted upon without any further delay.

Lee Day

Would have been cheaper to build a tunnel under the water – although judging on the poor workmanship of this boaty thing the tunnel would probably have leaked..

Opinions Matter

How this Tory Council have blatantly wasted island residents council tax on this, well, I can only describe it as a compete waste of money. It’s disgusting the amount of money that has been spent, firstly buying this boat, then the fiasco with the ramp being too steep so cars were getting stuck when they came to drive off then the countless breakdowns….. Whoever is in charge and keeps haemorrhaging our council tax money into this boat needs to be SACKED immediately.

Bing Bong

Lmao mate I’ll be voting Tory in next GE like it or not


You do realise you don’t vote for councillors during a GE, right Bing Bong?

Bing Bong

Are you angry because you’re poor by any chance??


Oh right, obvious Troll then, off you trot 😉


Yet only within the last few days Ward has angrily announced that those timescales are rubbish! Either he is a liar or is totally incompetent. Or both. He and Stewart should be thrown out and be made to compensate businesses that have lost money or olded through no fault of their own. It’s an absolute disgrace.


This complete fallacy of a working floating bridge and the Island as a Council led success!


What the hell is going on? How much longer do we have to put up with these idiots that we are forced to pay via Council Tax which, if we don’t pay, we are threatened with legal action. Metcalf, take those you are protecting so carefully and go, now. We have had enough of you.


Considering the amount of time this floating bridge hasn’t been in service since it come into service out of goodwill they should cease all charges for use.
We as council tax payers have already put enough money into this heap of crap and I for one am fed up of it, the council should have sent it back as soon as it was found to be unfit for use.

Opinions Matter

Agree with you IOWter. It is unfit for purpose.


this white elephant needs towing out a few miles off the south wight and let the navy use it as target practice its all its good for. What an embarresment hope the councillors that pocketed there share when this was built should be embarrassed and ashamed. The money they have wasted on this monstrosity is pathetic and we are picking up the tab. The money could of been put toward more useful things like helping the vunrable or the young kids of the island. Or maybe spent on a bridge over the medina and some left over for community use.… Read more »


I have said from the start there was nothing wrong with refurbishing the old ferry, dont listen to the councils” you cant get the parts for it crap” anything can be remade on old machines, it would have saved us thousands and be running now!! after all what is it a two minute crossing at high tide!! get this lot out at next election there has never been a worse crowd in my lifetime…….

Liam Davis

Tow it out to sea and let the navy use it for target practice. Mind you I don’t think it will take much to sink it..


It’ll run-aground on the way! 😀


And the comedy goes on, you just couldn’t write this.
How can they stand there sprouting about how well this council are doing with daily events proving the opposite?
Me thinks they will be announcing a huge pay rise for themselves stating you need to pay the going rate to get the right quality of staff and councillors.

Concerned of Wootton

Hopefully, people will remember these council led disasters when it comes to the next election! But, somehow I doubt it. I worry when they say that “Progress on the repairs, and the expected return to service will be closely monitored, and any changes will be communicated to the media and key stakeholders and posted on social media”.   And why is it taking till the end of August to just identify the cause? Are they working minimal hours a day on it? If works start on Monday, and assuming they will work 8 hour days, 5 days a week, that’s… Read more »

Bob D

Cannot be legal or right to make individual council tax payers pay for something they can’t even use, if they could have to pay a toll as well. How much is Jenny boats costing ?. How did No 5 do in comparison. Maybe if used design of No5 and built with Island specialist then we would be ok. Surely a bridge would be better,like Yarmouth. Why don’t boats pay a toll coming up down river as well ?. We would have a road across if it weren’t for them. Surely council have insurance, sink it and claim. Build a new… Read more »

Miss daisy

Oh well no real loss


Biggest floating pile of s crap in this country


Come on Mr Seely earn your salary and do something for the benefit of your constituents for once because this fiasco cannot be allowed to continue with constant tongue in cheek “apologies” from IW Council.
This heap of junk was purchased with our money and I think we are entitled to know what the guarantee and maintenance agreements are.
Either the bridge was substandard in design or manufacture and it’s about time someone was honest enough to hold their hands up. If its so unreliable now, what will it be like in years to come?


it needs a tug to help it across becouse its so crapp and big that costs hundreds of pounds a time it will always be a turdd and always breakdown


As we are all on the same hymn sheet why do we all not contact our MP as somebody mentioned
and see what he is made off. (Probably half a sausage)


Just got onto Bob Seely facebook to request his assistance on the floating bridge.
Come on everybody get on there and put pressure on our MP.


I did too, all join in


Why does the passenger launch need to be payed for with tax payers money? Why not take it out of the councils bonus pot

John Rosenthal

And who is paying for this?
Warranty? Oh I forgot the Council probably didn’t get one so it will be us the Rate Payers again.
Time to let this useless monstrosity go.

Opinions Matter

How much money is too much? This has been dead in the water right from the start. The council could continue for years wasting money on this “heap of crap”. It has got to go back to the designers/engineers and fix all the issues once and for all. This cannot be allowed to continue, wasting council tax payers money. It’s just not right.


What a joke! Perhaps the council should have thought of speaking to its own Trading Standards Dept when it first had issues ! Someone should be held accountable to the tax payer for this total disaster


Presumably this won’t be a warranty repair so islanders will be once again footing what must surely be another massive repair bill.   How long does this have to go on before those responsible are held to account?   The history of the bridge reads more like a tale of a dodgy builder multiple faults, totally implausible claims that nothing is wrong and never ending demands for more money to sort out the apparently non-existent faults.   They might as well have hired the builder from Fawlty Towers. Though I suspect that even he would have made a better job.… Read more »



Sarah Cupcake

Mass boycott if it returns.

Benjamin Dyer

Its ‘laugh’ or ‘cry’ time for this ongoing piece of faulty machinery…I choose to laugh


Pull it out of service all together. There’s no need for it with modern day vehicles, the distance isn’t that far to drive around, most floating bridges around the world save at least a 20 mile drive. Have a foot passenger launch in place instead. Before anyone moans at me for saying it I have used it and used to use the old one daily.


Its still a 20 mile detour and that is contributing to air pollution on the Island take into consideration of the ” Balls Up” at St Marys Roundabout and one can understand the frustration of drivers .


It’s only 10 miles but I agree with the rest


just wait till thats fully operational when the taffic builds up more pollution on the way all to add to biffins brigde another total fxxup…


It’s ridiculous how long this farce has gone on, there should be a proper bridge facility for people needing to cross, its destroying businesses and causing extra pollution because of all the extra driving and congestion in Newport and Cowes what with the extra time wasted on the st Mary’s new road layout , which is also a pointless money wasting farce from our joke of a council. The people in charge of this whole situation should be investigated and prosecuted. Return the old bridge , it was way more reliable and much less expensive.

Elizabeth Terry

Whoever agreed to the purchase of this boat should have been fired in its first debarcle just after it was put into service.

Steve Brown

So, here we go again
I would be very interested to see an honest account of how much this useless thing has cost us,(yes us) so far.
I wonder how far short of a swing bridge we are now?


scrap it …scrap it now enough already its cost millions more than when first built its crapp.. slower… unreliable a total embarrasing turrd who ever commitioned this floating turrd of craap should be sacked but i suppose its ok for our useless council they will just put up tax again to pay for it all …

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