The Floating Bridge Stakeholders Group say scrapping and starting again may be more economical.
Will “never be fit for purpose”
The Floating Bridge Stakeholders Group said 71.7 per cent fewer pedestrians with ‘economic potential’ now used the bridge, compared to 2014.
This excluded commuters and only looked at passengers likely to spend money in either town.
They argued the bridge would never be fit for purpose, and should be scrapped and replaced entirely.
Stakeholders: “This will cost the taxpayer millions”
In a response to the Solent LEP, they said:
“The council needs to acknowledge enough is enough. Throwing more money at it is wasteful, where as scrapping and starting again may be more economical.
“This will cost the taxpayer millions more either way.”
Drop in number of passengers
The number of passengers that use the bridge, whether by car or on foot, has dropped significantly since the new vessel came into action. The number of foot passengers halved in 2017 from 22,030 to 11,753.
More than 26,000 cars used the crossing in June 2016, whereas only 17,374 crossed in June 2018.
Increased crossing times
The stakeholders group argued the time to cross the Medina had more than doubled — at times taking more than 23 minutes.
Earlier this month, the group that runs the Floaty Finder Website said the bridge was running so slowly, their algorithms thought it had stopped entirely.
“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.
He said it was a mistake to sell off the old bridge before it was known whether the new one would work properly.
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Image: © Isle of Wight Council