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.

Council to suspend floating bridge on Saturday due to predicted winds

floating bridge suspended

Council say it will be suspended due to safety concerns with predicted winds in excess of 20 knots. Launch will be in operation.

Friday, 15th March, 2019 2:53pm

By IW Council Press Office with 7 readers' comments

Floating Bridge ‘fails at the most important time of day’, says Cllr Love (updated)

floating bridge suspended

School children and workers are late to school and work this morning as the Cowes Floating Bridge "fails at the most important time of day", says Councillor Love.

Thursday, 14th March, 2019 9:30am

By Sally Perry with one comment

Why are IW council shy about discussing floating bridge incident?

floating bridge suspended

After last year’s serious incident on the floating bridge that resulted in a staff member having to be airlifted to the mainland for emergency treatment, Isle of Wight council were going to look into the causes. OnTheWight has followed up with questions, but IWC are avoiding answering the questions.

Thursday, 28th February, 2019 10:08am

By Sally Perry with 12 readers' comments

Malfunction on floating bridge takes it out of service

floating bridge out of service

The Isle of Wight council advised earlier this morning that the Cowes floating bridge was out of service due to a malfunction. A passenger launch is in operation. Vehicles are diverted via Newport.

Tuesday, 19th February, 2019 9:55am

By Sally Perry with 6 readers' comments

Shop owner blames closure on floating bridge, leader says ‘I haven’t seen Waitrose close’

cowes floating bridge

In response to a 22 year business in East Cowes, who said the failures of the floating bridge resulted in her business being decimated, leader of the Isle of Wight council, Dave Stewart, said “I think some of it is down to your business case. I haven’t seen Waitrose close"

Thursday, 7th February, 2019 3:25pm

By Megan Baynes, Local Democracy Reporter with 10 readers' comments

‘Floating Bridge 6 should be scrapped’, say stakeholders

floating bridge = iwc

The Floating Bridge Stakeholders group argue Floating Bridge 6 "would never be fit for purpose", and "should be scrapped and replaced entirely".

Thursday, 7th February, 2019 3:21pm

By Megan Baynes, Local Democracy Reporter with 9 readers' comments

Isle of Wight council leader says they ‘could have moved quicker’ over floating bridge problems

disembarking the floating bridge - karl love

The leader of the Isle of Wight council admits they council "could have moved quicker as the facts unfolded" about the catalogue of problems with floating bridge 6.

Thursday, 7th February, 2019 3:00pm

By Megan Baynes, Local Democracy Reporter with 15 readers' comments

Council finally admit floating bridge did not meet the requirements

floating bridge suspended

Isle of Wight Council leader, Dave Stewart, has finally said the latest floating bridge did not fit the requirements drawn up by the council and they could pursue legal action against BCTQ.

Thursday, 7th February, 2019 2:39pm

By Megan Baynes, Local Democracy Reporter with 7 readers' comments

Council offering £2 Floating Bridge ‘Oyster card’ for free until April

close up of a two pound coin

Don't get too excited, but for a limited period, Isle of Wight council are offering to give you their Floating Bridge 'Oyster Card', so you can load credit up on the card, to gradually spend on floating bridge journeys. The upside? You'll pay less for the journeys.

Friday, 25th January, 2019 6:28pm

By IW Council Press Office with 2 readers' comments

Floating Bridge taking too long to cross, the reason for Floaty Finder hitch

floaty finder and erik with his hat

Isle of Wight council appeared to have a dig at Floaty Finder (FF) on Twitter last week, but FF creators explain the bridge was taking so long to cross, their systems believed it was out of service.

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 3:33pm

By Megan Baynes, Local Democracy Reporter with 4 readers' comments

Summary of Floating Bridge saga (so far!) captured in one video

floating bridge using MV seaclear

The Floating Bridge saga has been so long it's really hard to remember all that's happened. This just-launched video recaps it all, also raising questions we hadn't heard before. Worth a watch. Has the 2017 words of Dave Stewart echoing throughout, 'I think it will be done a lot sooner than we think'.

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019 6:51pm

By Sally Perry with 3 readers' comments

Floating bridge is out of service: The Cabinet member is slammed over failure

floating bridge suspended

Just days after Cllr Ian Ward said “Residents will be able to use the floating bridge during the Christmas period so they can enjoy shopping, celebrating and travelling to family and friends,” the service has been suspended due to another failure of the £6.5+m bridge.

Sunday, 23rd December, 2018 11:19am

By Sally Perry with 5 readers' comments