INDEPENDENT REVIEW AND LEGAL MEDIATION TO DETERMINE NEXT STEP IN FLOATING BRIDGE SAGA

An independent review and legal mediation will determine the next step in the long battle to sort out the Isle of Wight’s troubled Floating Bridge 6.

It’s been confirmed that after the review and mediation a report will go before leading Isle of Wight Council cabinet members in January and the local authority will make its next move.

Speaking at the council’s cabinet meeting on Monday, Councillor Phil Jordan, the infrastructure and transport lead, said when the Alliance administration came into office in May, one of the things its members were committed to resolving was the Floating Bridge. “That is what we are doing”, he said.

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Council Leader, Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox, said:

“It does seem after 22 weeks in, we are desperately pushing forward with this and there is a bit of light at the end of this very dark and very long tunnel.”

Cabinet noted the continuation of the legal process, with mediation not yet started, but council officers have been instructed to set a date for it to take place in December.

The council is taking legal action against the marine architects and boat builders who designed and created Floating Bridge. There have been continuous problems since it launched on the River Medina, between Cowes and East Cowes, and it has spent many weeks out of action.

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Cabinet members were also asked to note a request from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (SLEP), which has questioned whether the chain ferry is fit for purpose, to commission an independent review into whether the vessel is meeting targets laid out in the business case.

The Isle of Wight Council will foot the bill for the investigation, which could be anywhere between £10,000 and £15,000. Cllr Jordan said it is expected to be completed by the end of November.

After the 2 items are concluded, a report will come before the cabinet laying out the next steps the authority could take — whether to continue to repair Floating Bridge 6 or get a new one.

Replacing the troubled vessel for a new one is an option the Alliance administration is seriously considering, unlike the previous Conservative leadership.

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Councillor Karl Love, local East Cowes councillor, said he really appreciated the transparent communications from Cllr Jordan. He said:

“I am really confident this will be resolved and while we cannot divulge all the details, due to the legal matters, for the first time in a long time I feel really positive that something will happen.”

Currently, the Floating Bridge 6 is out of action because of major faults found in the drive motor. No date has been set as to when it will return, but the most recent work saw one of the ramps removed and shipped to Southampton, so contractors can work on it there.

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Dave Rose
Dave Rose
1 month ago

I do wish there would be some clarity here in the constant use of the word “Legal Action” – now being used by this current Administration. Mediation is not Legal Action, but a process where aggrieved Parties meet – usually with an independent mediator present – to try to resolve matters. This can be held in any venue, such as an convenient office. I agree that any agreements so made at any mediation could be legally binding on them. If mediation fails then Legal action can be undertaken in a Court of Law through Litigation to resolve matters. Only if Litigation is commenced does real “Legal Action” take place.

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

Nothing will be done about it and it will be back in service in about 3 months time after spending more money on it then stop working again about 3 weeks later

Dave Rose
Dave Rose
Reply to  Ben
1 month ago

Ben, you are correct. In addition to presently one of the drive motors failing – just wait for the other to go later – now with the prows being redesigned and modified over in Southampton, there have been reports that the Floating Bridge will not return to service “just before or after Christmas”. My money with the present rate of progress is on after Christmas.
Then in March 2022, there is the statutory MCA five year inspection – at a cost of £250,000 – which requires the craft to be removed from service for 4 to 6 weeks.
Just picking up on my initial post – there has been neither any Mediation nor Legal Action through a Court of Law to date, as now confirmed by the present Council. The Council are now aiming to have the first Mediation meeting in December 2022.

Dave Rose
Dave Rose
Reply to  Dave Rose
1 month ago

Sorry, the Council aims to have it’s first Mediation session in December 2021, (not 2022 as I posted above). The rate things are going – we are in October – why cannot this first meeting be arranged for November ? After all the previous Council Administration claims over many months of Mediation being underway now being proved wrong. It just sums up the urgency not being given to this issue.

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
1 month ago

Well who knows will they pass this White Elephant on when the next elections come round ?????.
Excuses blame ,mediation why ????it doesn’t work !!!!!
You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole !!!!!!
But no let’s waste more money and time…..
We the public should certainly get a refund on this heap of junk but guess what ?????…WE Won’t see a penny…..

Clive Heathfield
Clive Heathfield
Reply to  Miss sensible
1 month ago

There is more to this wight elephant than meets the eye, the Council will not divulge the full facts of this sherrard ,it will be my intention to see if court proceeding have been instigated on the design and builders by the Start of year 2022 council tax year.

Ex Islander
Ex Islander
1 month ago

I am amazed that the Island still works, despite its poor infrastructure and incompetent local elected officials. What will happen is they will buy a new one, it will break and the cycle will continue until our grandchildren’s grandchildren can sort it with a floating hover bridge.

Amazed,,, NOT
Amazed,,, NOT
1 month ago

They should build a tunnel there… like they were planning to do in 1901… just think how much money has been wasted over the decades on the ferries used here… BUT hey ho ! Light at end of tunnel..( would be if built one, make it one lane with traffic lights, with pedestrians area one side, and cycle way other side.)… .they say, Yes the Government giving millions to upgrade East Cowes… how convenient

plato
plato
1 month ago

Dont hold your breath taxpayers – IWC will always take the easiest option – continue to spend (our money) on FB6 to prop it up till the next administration takes over.

Clive Heathfield
Clive Heathfield
Reply to  plato
1 month ago

The IOW Council is to scared to take legal action ,the IOW Council are happy to spend Thousand s of tax payers money on a worthless piece of crap that was bodge up by the Council and now they are tring to cover their tracks ,it will be my intention to give it till Aprill 2022.

Clive Heathfield
Clive Heathfield
1 month ago

i understand that the council will be footing this bill of £ 10.000 – £ 15.000 out of their own pockets ? .and NOT THE RATE PAYERS ?. The council is just peeing about and needs to take legal action NOW ,and no more talks .it has cost the rate payers to much money and this Council could not care whose money they will be wasting .just put it on the scrap heap ,it will save us money .

 

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