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 stakeholders have ‘very constructive’ LEP meeting

Floating Bridge No 6 by Allan Marsh

A contingent from the Floating Bridge Stakeholders Group gave a deputation to the funders of the Cowes Floating Bridge - the Solent LEP - today. They report back here.

Friday, 22nd June, 2018 4:14pm

By Floating Bridge Stakeholders Group with 7 readers' comments

Floating Bridge: Council lift curfew but are noise levels now safe?

floating bridge from cowes

OK, the council is bringing back floating bridge crossings between 5am and 1.25am - but have they fixed the long-running noise pollution issues. OnTheWight gets answers from the Isle of Wight council. Read on ...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018 2:39pm

By Sally Perry with 7 readers' comments

Floating bridge: Council finally bring back early morning and late night sailings

floating bridge cowes

With the Isle of Wight Festival opening its gates on Thursday 21st June, the council are getting the Floating Bridge to run at the times the old service used to - 5am, then into the wee hours.

Wednesday, 13th June, 2018 6:30pm

By IW Council Press Office with 7 readers' comments

Floating Bridge: Revised timetable aims to resolve chain issues

floating bridge chains

To address the issues with the chain height of Floating Bridge 6, the service will be suspended for a few hours over approximately ten days a month at different times.

Thursday, 24th May, 2018 1:22pm

By Sally Perry with 12 readers' comments

Cowes Floating Bridge on revised timetable

floating bridge suspended

The revised timetable will be in place over the next four nights but no reason for the change has been given as yet.

Thursday, 17th May, 2018 4:32pm

By IW Council Press Office with 3 readers' comments

Another East Cowes business closes ‘due to the floating bridge’

gary hook hungry pit stop

Another previously-profitable business in East Cowes is citing the unreliability of the Cowes Floating Bridge over the last year as the reason for having to close his doors on Saturday.

Friday, 11th May, 2018 2:33pm

By Sally Perry with 2 readers' comments

Floating bridge did not ‘hit GKN wall’, council tells OnTheWight (updated)

floating bridge ferry spy

The council say that the suspension of the floating bridge is a precautionary measure due to a combination of wind and tide and counter claims that it hit a wall.

Monday, 30th April, 2018 12:10pm

By Sally Perry with 8 readers' comments

Floating bridge suspended later this week for improvement works

floating bridge suspended

The leader of the council says the works are part of the IWC's "continuing aim to get a good and reliable service for residents during this extended trial period".

Monday, 16th April, 2018 7:12pm

By IW Council Press Office with 5 readers' comments

East Cowes business closes after being ‘decimated’ by floating bridge impact

Angie and Roger - Valu4U

Angie Booth from Valu4U in East Cowes explained to a BBC reporter today how her business - which had been profitable for 21 years - has been decimated since Floating Bridge 5 was taken out of service in January 2017.

Thursday, 5th April, 2018 5:33pm

By Sally Perry with 14 readers' comments

Desperate plea to Floating Bridge funder, Solent LEP: Please help, says Mayor

floating bridge

A letter to the CEO of the body that granted £3.7m for the new floating bridge appeals for help after many stakeholders say they have struggled to get the Isle of Wight Council to engage in a "constructive and meaningful way".

Friday, 16th March, 2018 5:06pm

By Sally Perry with 26 readers' comments

East Cowes shop ‘Value for You’ closing as a ‘direct result’ of Floating Bridge Fiasco says Cllr

Closed sign :

East Cowes IWC councillor Karl Love says businesses are dying because of the bad floating Bridge service. Here he lays out what he feels needs to be done - including IWC investing in East Cowes.

Wednesday, 14th March, 2018 6:38pm

By Cllr Karl Love with 4 readers' comments

Floating bridge out of service while problem wheels replaced

floating bridge chains

As with previous periods of suspension, a passenger launch will be in operation whilst the work takes place to fix the problem wheels on the Floating Bridge.

Wednesday, 7th March, 2018 5:28pm

By Sally Perry with 5 readers' comments