This in from the council. Ed
The Cowes floating bridge is scheduled to reopen to the public this coming Monday (11 December) as part of an extended trial period that will take place this month.
Cars and passengers will be able to use it from 11 December for the normal fees.
Free for pedestrians for limited period
In addition, and in a gesture of goodwill, the council will allow free travel for foot passengers over the Christmas period between 23 December and 2 January 2018, inclusive.
A late night service will also operate on Christmas eve and New Year’s eve to align with Red Funnel Services.
Many issues addressed
The decision to bring the vessel back into use comes after the council and experts addressed well-publicised issues with the new £3 million vessel.
Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart, said,
“There has been significant progress and a great deal of determination to get the floating bridge back into action before the busy Christmas period.
“The trial period could mean that the floating bridge may need be taken out of service or not operate a full service at certain times, however, the intention is that it will operate as closely to the published timetable from now on.
“I would like to thank Cowes and East Cowes residents and businesses for their understanding and patience over the last few months and we hope the vessel will now perform well during this trial period.
“I continue to compile a report into what has happened regarding the well-publicised issues surrounding the floating bridge and this will be published in the New Year.”
Rightly cautious about the next steps
Council chief executive, CEO John Metcalfe, thanked local organisations for their help and patience, including the Cowes Harbour Commission, which has offered support throughout the process.
“Officers have been working hard to get the floating bridge back in service as soon as possible, however, we are rightly being cautious about the next steps. Chain depth testing has been ongoing and there is confidence the vessel will work during the trial period.
“We’ve not been able to address every issue while the bridge has been out of service and the floating bridge’s chains will need further adjustment in the New Year, and there will be some more work to address any remaining noise issues. Everyone will receive notice in good time, if this impacts on services.
“I would like to thank everyone for their patience during time the vessel has been out of service.”
|DATE||HOURS OF OPERATION (LAUNCH)||HOURS OF OPERATION (FLOATING BRIDGE)|
|Mon 11th Dec||5-7am||7am-10.30pm|
|Sun 24th||6.30am-12.30am (following day)|
|Sun 31st||6.30am-1.30am (following day)|
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh