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.

East Cowes coucillor meets with owner of previous Cowes Floating Bridge

floating bridge being towed

Saying it was a mistake to sell off the old bridge before it was known whether the new one would work properly, Karl Love has met with the current owner of the previous Floating Bridge.

Thursday, 13th December, 2018 3:48pm

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

Isle of Wight council respond to rumour they’re buying back old Floating Bridge

Floating Bridge

Floating Bridge 5 has been docked in Gosport for the last couple of years and previously up for sale for offers of £125,000. The council respond to the rumour that they're buying it back.

Friday, 7th December, 2018 2:19pm

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

Petition to Isle of Wight council: ‘Stop spending millions on failing floaty and get a new one’

floating bridge using MV seaclear

An online petition calling on the Isle of Wight council to stop spending millions on Floating Bridge 6 and buy a new one is gathering pace. OnTheWight has the detail.

Monday, 12th November, 2018 8:05am

By Sally Perry with 9 readers' comments

Floating Bridge costs rise to a staggering £6,400,000

floating bridge ferry spy

In the last two and a half years the costs of Floating Bridge 6 have spiraled. The councillor for East Cowes says the additional cost of the replacement launch could have been used to continue the work of the Local Area Coordinators.

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018 6:57pm

By Sally Perry with 8 readers' comments

Letter: It’s time for Ian Ward and Dave Stewart to admit they were wrong over floating bridge

ian ward and dave stewart

This reader explains why he believes it's time for Cllr Stewart and Cllr Ward to admit they were wrong on the Floating Bridge issue and engage with people who actually know something about it.

Thursday, 1st November, 2018 8:42am

By Colin McCourt with 6 readers' comments

Floating bridge out until Wednesday

floating bridge suspended

The council anticipate the bridge being back in service by Wednesday morning.

Monday, 29th October, 2018 4:20pm

By Sally Perry with 3 readers' comments

Solent LEP Floating Bridge consultation is live – Why was nobody told? (Updated)

new floating bridge

The Solent LEP have been criticised for failing to notify residents, businesses, councillors or other floating bridge stakeholders of the consultation that was launched three weeks ago. OnTheWight has the details, including how you can respond.

Thursday, 25th October, 2018 12:02pm

By Sally Perry with 4 readers' comments

Floating bridge goes out of service (again) (and again)

cowes floating bridge

There is a foot passenger only service across the Medina tonight as the Cowes floating bridge is out of service once again.

Wednesday, 24th October, 2018 6:17pm

By Sally Perry with 16 readers' comments

Isle of Wight council creates rival to Floaty Finder and Ferry Spy

computer keyboard

IWC have created a duplicate of the pre-existing Ferry Spy and Floaty Finder services. Opening up choice for the public, or duplicating effort and expense? The choice is yours. OnTheWight has the details.

Tuesday, 9th October, 2018 8:58pm

By Simon Perry with 6 readers' comments

Revealed: Price Isle of Wight Council sold last Floating Bridge for


The person who owns it now is still trying to sell it for £125,000 – but guess how much Isle of Wight council sold it for? Thanks to a resident's FOI request, OnTheWight can share the answer.

Saturday, 6th October, 2018 5:20pm

By Sally Perry with 21 readers' comments

£3,400 Floating Bridge mesh matting removed only a month after fitting

matting 3 cropped

The Floating bridge's newly-fitted mesh matting (fitted only a month ago, costing £3,400), was yesterday removed. Here's what the locals and IWC are saying ...

Friday, 5th October, 2018 3:20pm

By Sally Perry with 6 readers' comments

Floating Bridge back in service following serious incident with member of staff (updated)

floating bridge suspended

The floating bridge has now returned to service following a serious incident where a member of staff was injured in the engine room and airlifted to Southampton Hospital.

Thursday, 27th September, 2018 11:59am

By Sally Perry