East Cowes coucillor meets with owner of previous Cowes Floating Bridge

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.

floating bridge being towed

East Cowes councillor, Cllr Karl Love, said he had met with the owners of Floating Bridge 5 on several occasions in recent weeks, and thought it was possible the old chain ferry could be brought back into service.

The former bridge is still moored in Gosport and for sale, with the price on application. A spokesperson for the owner, Apollo Duck, said there had been significant interest from abroad and the vessel could soon be sent overseas.

Love: Restoring confidence in the service
Cllr Love said,

“If it were possible to bring back the old bridge, even if it was only a temporary solution until the new bridge issues are resolved, then it would go some way to restoring confidence in the service.”

He said he did not know if it would be feasible, but he was prepared to listen to the different options.

Mistake to sell off FB5
He said it was a mistake to sell off the old bridge before it was known whether the new one would work properly.

He added,

“I’m very happy to hear other people’s suggestions and, from what I have heard in my discussions, there is a credible option which any council should be willing to listen to.

“Of course this alternative might amount to nothing but one must consider it when presented with the current catastrophic situation.”

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed

Image: © Virtual Wight

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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9 Comments on "East Cowes coucillor meets with owner of previous Cowes Floating Bridge"

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Oh I know hindsight is wonderful but our IW Council – only this week – is asking us for suggestions of how they can save £5.5 million. At a stroke £6.5 million would have been saved if they had kept the old floating bridge, not bought the new one, or if they had, when it wasn’t fit for purpose, got their (our) money back. As I said,… Read more »

Greed… they thought they could make more money with a new ferry…

Benny C
WHO decided on the entire strategy? Who convinced the IOWC to sell for a stupid amount? Who recommended this too early? Who appointed a team who were so poorly managed that they delivered a badly designed, unreliable and costly replacement? That’s the person who cost us £6m and if they should lose their job and take account for their incompetence. It’s why they are paid so much… Read more »

this was all being done when Cllr Love was elected it’s taken him some time to catch on. This is officers thinking they know best again. Maybe if he had done his homework before and when first elected he could have pointed it out quicker ……


In response to holdmyheadinmyhands, you need to do some research before commenting on Cllr Love.

The Isle of Wight Council stated a significant time ago that FB#5 would be kept until FB#6 had been accepted. Then some bright spark in the council decided to sell it off early for a paltry sum.


Peanuts because they are a bunch of monkeys LOL

Alternative Perspective

How much did the IWCC sell Floating Bridge 5 for?


“Thanks to a Freedom of Information request by East Cowes resident, Cameron Palin, OnTheWight can now reveal how much the council received for the sale of FB5 – A whopping £7,670 plus VAT at £1,534 = £9,204”


I don’t suppose they named the buyer as I note that the report says the owners agent is Appollo Duck but i expect they would blame that on the Data Protection act?