Cowes Floating Bridge

The Floating Bridge links Cowes and East Cowes, running regularly through the day and much of the evening.

It’s sometimes called the Chain Ferry because it pulls itself both sides of the river on a chain.

In March 2016 the Isle of Wight council commissioned a replacement for the Cowes Floating Bridge (which came into service in 1976), with a new one (£3.2m), with an increased capacity.

The Isle of Wight council officially launched the new Floating Bridge in May 2017, having to withdraw it from service within 48 hours as the front of cars were grounding out when driving off, due to the angles of the new setup being wrong.

Floating Bridge side thrusters are not a ‘sticky plaster’ says town councillor

floating bridge with boost bars on side by IW Can Depress

'Numerous local engineers' say that side thrusters would not work and that if the council persisted with this option, it could the bridge being out of the water for six months

Monday, 25th January, 2021 5:58pm

By Louise Hill, Local Democracy Reporter with 18 readers' comments

Floating Bridge out of service for more repairs

Floating Bridge and suspended sign at East Cowes

The Bridge will be out of service again after yesterday's suspension, this time for more repairs

Wednesday, 20th January, 2021 8:52am

By Sally Perry with 7 readers' comments

IWC taking legal action, but who is responsible for the design of Floating Bridge 6?

Cowes floating bridge getting chained

The company being named by the Isle of Wight council as the "designer" of Cowes Floating Bridge 6 has previously claimed they were "not responsible for the design"

Tuesday, 19th January, 2021 12:20pm

By Sally Perry with 15 readers' comments

Weld blown on Cowes Floating Bridge: Service to be suspended

floating bridge suspended September 2019

The saga of Floating Bridge 6 continues with yet another failure, causing the bridge to be suspended

Tuesday, 19th January, 2021 9:18am

By Sally Perry with 7 readers' comments

Floating Bridge 6: Council have submitted a ‘substantial claim’ as part of legal action

floating bridge suspended sign

The leader of the council gave an update to the Scrutiny Committee at tonight's meeting. Details within

Tuesday, 12th January, 2021 6:24pm

By Sally Perry with 4 readers' comments

Floating Bridge to be taken out of service for ‘minor maintenance works’

floating bridge suspended sign

A foot passenger launch will be in operation whilst 'minor maintenance works' take place

Monday, 14th December, 2020 2:12pm

By Sally Perry with 2 readers' comments

Floating Bridge 6 fiasco hits the national news

Floating Bridge and suspended sign at East Cowes

Duncan Kennedy's report on BBC Radio 4's Today programme (have a listen within) takes the fiasco of the Floating Bridge to a national audience

Saturday, 5th December, 2020 12:08pm

By Sally Perry with 5 readers' comments

Floating Bridge back in service today (Friday)

floating bridge 6 in the River Medina approaching East Cowes slipway

The Isle of Wight council say the necessary repairs to the hydraulic ram have now been completed

Friday, 4th December, 2020 6:23am

By Sally Perry with 3 readers' comments

Floating Bridge to be suspended yet again due to another oil leak

Suspended service sign at the Cowes Floating Bridge - with the message suspended again

A leak of hydraulic oil from the ram means the Floating Bridge will have to be taken out of service yet again

Friday, 27th November, 2020 9:43am

By Sally Perry with 12 readers' comments

‘Floaty McFloat Farce’ aka Floating Bridge 6 makes it onto BBC’s Politics South show

An empty Floating Bridge 6 during sunset

The Floating Bridge fiasco reached the dizzy heights of the BBC’s Politics South show this morning. Link to watch again within

Sunday, 22nd November, 2020 4:04pm

By Sally Perry with 3 readers' comments

FB6 deep dive conclusion: Floating Bridge 6 ‘a resounding failure and bottomless money pit’ say stakeholders

floating bridge 6 and seaclear

Here you can find a breakdown of all the investigations on the costs for FB6 – made on the basis of an FOI request by the Floating Bridge Stakeholders’ and Engineers’ Group, who have labeled FB6 ‘A resounding failure and a bottomless money pit’

Wednesday, 18th November, 2020 6:34pm

By Sally Perry with 7 readers' comments

Cowes Floating Bridge service to resume on Monday

floating bridge 6 in the River Medina approaching East Cowes slipway

The Isle of Wight council issue the latest update on the Cowes Floating Bridge, which has been out of service for the last week

Sunday, 15th November, 2020 3:07pm

By Sally Perry with 7 readers' comments