New floating bridge: First crossing with public on board (21 HD photos)

The long-awaited new Floating Bridge came into service this afternoon, carrying vehicles and foot passengers across the mouth of the river Medina. Allan Marsh was the first on board to take photos for OnTheWight, see his HD gallery.

Cowes floating bridge 6 - allan marsh

The long-awaited return of the floating bridge in Cowes took place today (Saturday 13th May).

Originally due to begin service in March, the new floating bridge, which was built in Wales by Mainstay Marine, began taking members of the public across the mouth of the River Medina at 2pm today.

Allan Marsh was the first on board (getting on at East Cowes) with his trusty camera to capture the event for OnTheWight, as the first passengers boarded from Cowes.

Excitement levels were high, “It was like a party on board”, he said.

Allan’s gallery
In the meantime take a look through Allan’s gallery of images. Click on the images to see larger versions.

Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh
Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh

Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh

Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh

Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh

Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh

Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh

Cowes Floating Bridge 6 - first journey by Allan Marsh

Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh

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Saturday, 13th May, 2017 7:05pm

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ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2fhH

Filed under: Cowes, East Cowes, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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

17 Comments

  1. It looks great for foot passangers. But not so good for cars getting off of the chain bridge most of the cars getting off are still grounding out. I would have thought that this problem was sorted out when the new CB was designed. Obviously not well back to the drawing board

  2. Apparently some vehicle owners are already looking to take legal action against the council for damage sustained to their cars whilst leaving the ferry!!! Yet another big OOPS! Surely a basic requirement was for the ramps to be level at all times? Maybe not though…..

  3. nettowilko


    14.May.2017 1:00pm

    What is the new ferry called please?

  4. Braveheart


    14.May.2017 1:13pm

    The more you study these photos and the YouTube Video that’s in circulation it proves without doubt, that the problem is not within the design of the bridge but is more to do with the acute angle of the concrete slipways.

    The bridges loading/unloading ramps should be flexible enough to adjust to the tide depth at any given time unlike the road extensions, which are fixed.

    Therefore, the liability lay’s firmly at the door of the architects and construction company who carried out the roadside work in not calculating an accurate, shallower incline.

    • Angle of slipways is the same as it has always been.

      • Braveheart


        15.May.2017 11:01am

        You state that the angles of the slipways have always been the same.

        If what you state is correct, then this explains why vehicles grounded whilst loading/unloading on previous Floating Bridges.

        Therefore, the angle problem should have been rectified during the time of the recent considerable construction works that took place to accommodate the new Floating Bridge.

        Also prior to putting the Floating Bridge into service, instead of running an empty vessel back-n-forth across the river.

        They should have loaded it to its maximum carrying capacity and run it against varying tide levels, this in turn will have given them a far greater understanding of any previously unseen major loading/unloading problems.

        Then if my fist statement proved to be correct that the angle of the concrete roadside slipways are the culprit, they would have been in a better position to rectify matters instead of waiting until they put the Floating Bridge into operational service.

        With the outcome of motorists now threatening to sue the already financially stretched Isle of Wight Council for damages.

  5. Not to worry: I’m sure when the next one comes into service in 25 or 30 years they’ll take this into account.

  6. … And I hear from a friend who was stranded there was a breakdown, and the floating bridge has been taken out of service for the time being.

  7. electrickery


    14.May.2017 6:31pm

    So what the blue blazes have they been testing for the last fortnight??? Whether the kettle boils quickly enough?

    Not much anybody can do about the angle of the slipways, so ferry design should have catered. Has anybody seen the tender spec? It all happened very quickly and quietly.

    People with scraped cars might want to reflect on good driving practice, as so widely taught on the Island (not), whereby you approach a step hazard at an angle to minimise the effect. No? Always easier to blame somebody else than to educate and prepare oneself.

    • A legacy for us from the Island Independent group – not fit for purpose.

      • Billy Builder


        15.May.2017 9:32am

        The Independents were infinitely better that the Tory shambles that went before and I suspect they will have infinitely better than the current administration once they decimate island services and out-source ecerything to Hampshire.

        On a slightly different tack, Hovertravel introduced 2 new hovercraft 12 months ago, but still haven’t got them working properly. So don’t necessarily blame the Council !!

  8. Floating bridge now back in service. Not many punters willing to risk it though.

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