The Isle of Wight council have failed to answer questions relating to the Cowes Floating Bridge (FB6) suggesting it is “difficult” to answer them whilst the “investigation is still ongoing”.
News OnTheWight put the questions to the Isle of Wight council on Wednesday.
Some questions relate to the current failure of the Bridge – it’s been out of service for three weeks and counting. On those, it’s hard to know how much more information the council is going to have tomorrow, Friday (when they say they’ll be issuing an update), that they don’t already have at 5pm on Thursday.
There are also questions about the council’s view on the design and build of the Bridge, whether the council is pleased with the operational performance of FB6 and asking for an update on IWC announcement of two years ago about Wight Shipyard’s involvement in getting a fix for it.
These are questions that many Islanders want answers to, as they increasingly wonder why IWC continues to stand by the Floating Bridge, when it’s beset with a seemingly never ending catalogue of problems.
- Please give details of the “major fault with the hydraulic system” on FB6
- We have heard that there is ‘metal’ in the hydraulic fluid of FB6. What is causing that?
- How will it be rectified?
- Is FB6 legally allowed to run now (does it have all of the necessary sign offs to allow it to run with this problem)?
- What could happen if the FB6 continues to run with the metal in the hydraulic fluid?
- What needs to be done to fix the problem?
- How much will it cost to fix?
- How long would it normally take and cost to fix at a non-urgent ‘emergency’ rate?
- Are IWC pleased with the operational performance of the Floating Bridge 6?
- Given the number of apparent mechanical failures FB6 has had, does IWC have any concerns at the design of FB6?
- Given the number of apparent mechanical failures FB6 has had, does IWC have any concerns at the quality of the construction of the FB6?
- Have IWC been specifically informed what parts of the FB6 have failed?
- How long do you anticipate it will be before the FB6 back in service?
- Did IWC expect FB6 to need such a high number days out of service when it was ordered?
- Did Wight Shipyard carry out any work on FB6’s hydraulics, as IWC announced in July 2018?
The IWC’s difficulty in answering questions
An Isle of Wight council spokesperson told News OnTheWight today,
“It is very difficult to answer many of your questions while the investigation is still ongoing.”
As readers can see from the questions above, not all of them relate to the ongoing investigation. Quite a few of them are about the council’s view on the Floating Bridge and their level of satisfaction with it. In short they’re choosing not to answer questions of public interest that relate to the spending of millions of pounds of public money.
The spokesperson added,
I know Councillor Ward touched on timescales in his response to your earlier enquiry.
Incorrect. Cllr Ward did not give any indication of timescales, in fact he explicitly didn’t.
The spokesperson finished by saying,
“Hopefully we will be in a position to comment more fully once the exact cause of the fault is known to us and the remedy identified.
“Until then, there is little more we can add to our previous media release.”
Silence is deafening
Earlier today Cllr Ian Ward rejected claims of up to 30 week outage for repair of the Bridge – which this time (one of many) has been out of action for over three weeks.
His silence is deafening on our follow up question whether it could be eight weeks that FB6 is out of action.
See the FB archives
You can flick through the 300+ articles about the Floating Bridge to read the background, where the list of failures goes on and on.