Over the last 26 months, the Isle of Wight council has paid more than £1m to ‘private contractors’ and others for ‘professional services’ in connection with the Cowes Floating Bridge.
As reported by News OnTheWight earlier today, Floating Bridge 6 has cost the Isle of Wight council – and therefore tax-payers – a considerable amount to run over the last 26 months. That’s on top of the income received in fares.
Over the course of today (Thursday), thanks to a detailed Freedom of Information request made by the Floating Bridge Stakeholders’ and Engineers’ Group, News OnTheWight will break down the costs from a selection of the more interesting of the 36 categories.
Breakdown of costs
Up next are the payments made to ‘private contractors’ – some £848,405 over 26 months.
The detail is broken down below, but includes the Jenny Boat and Water Taxi – which are used to transport foot passengers across the River Medina when FB6 is suspended.
Seaclear is the boat, owned by Cowes Harbour Commission, that holds FB6 in place during certain tides to ensure it doesn’t end up further up the river.
It’s always been known that a strong tide passes through that part of the Medina only now have the council starting talking about fitting thrusters to the side of FB6 to account for this.
By far the largest budget line in the provided breakdown for “Payment to Private contractors” is ‘Other contractors’. It’s so large that it’s getting on for nearly half the amount (45%) to the £850k total figure.
No further detail was provided by IWC, so we’ve asked them to provide more.
|Other private contractors:||£383,750|
Additional £175k for professional services
In addition to the breakdown of costs to private contractors above for the Floating Bridge 6, a total of £175,793 was paid for “professional services”, although it’s not explained what these are.
News OnTheWight has also asked the Isle of Wight council for a breakdown of this budget line and will update once we hear back.
More on the way
Given the amount of detail that has been provided, News OnTheWight has decided to break this down into a number of more manageable articles, a Deep Dive Series.
We’re planning to publish these over the next two days, so check back here to dig into the story.
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Image: © Ferry Spy