Floating Bridge: Calls for free travel. Campaigners plan County Hall protest

Campaigners plan to take their message to County Hall on Wednesday next week as opposition councillors also call for foot passenger charges on the floating bridge to be suspended.

floating bridge - not paying for this

Residents and businesses frustrated with the failures of the Cowes floating bridge and health and safety issues for pedestrians, are planning to make their voices heard before the next Isle of Wight full council meeting.

A pre-meeting protest is planned outside County Hall from 4.30-6pm (when the meeting starts in the main chamber) on Wednesday 19th July.

Free travel until problems resolved
The meeting will hear two motions relating to the floating bridge.

The first is by Cllr Julie Jones-Evans (Newport Central) and Cllr Karl Love (East Cowes) and calls for the suspension of charges for foot passengers until all issues are resolved.

It reads:

That Isle of Wight Council suspend, in light of the ongoing issues of the floating bridge, foot passenger charges for the foreseeable future and until such time that all the current issues have been fully resolved.

“This should be reviewed again after the recommendations of the public enquiry are submitted for reflection and discussion at full council.

Free travel for parents
The second motion is by the councillor for Whippingham and Osborne, Cllr Julia Baker-Smith. It calls for free travel for parents escorting their children to school and reads,

Charging pedestrians on the floating bridge has had a significant impact upon many user groups but a particularly unfair impact on parents with children choosing healthy routes to school who are now being charged up to £6 per day in order to walk their children to school. This presents a potential and unnecessary barrier to low income families to maintaining school attendance.

This Council resolves to ask the executive to provide free travel for parents escorting their children to school where they live on the opposite side of the river to the school their child attends.

As always, OnTheWight will be reporting live from the meeting for the benefit of those unable to attend.

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Friday, 14th July, 2017 11:03am


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

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7 Comments on "Floating Bridge: Calls for free travel. Campaigners plan County Hall protest"

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As frustrating as the problems with the floating bridge are those residents and councillors of East Cowes involved in this campaign have revealed their true, mercenary, colours.

If they have genuine concerns about the safety of foot passengers they have no choice but to boycott the ferry.

‘We don’t think it’s safe but we’ll still use it if it’s free’ is inexcusable!

mariner58 – that is ridiculous logic. Many of us don’t use it out of principle or because it’s inconvenient. But some people must use it, and most importantly we want it to be free to encourage people to go back and forth REGULARLY to patronise shops. Making it free also speeds up loading and unloading time slightly as well. Add to that that the pensioners are going… Read more »
It is not my logic that is flawed. It has repeatedly been claimed that the new floating bridge is ‘unsafe’ for foot passengers. If so it will be unsafe whether they are charged or not. Anyone claiming it is unsafe but still using it, even free of charge, is placing themselves at a self confessed risk which would certainly reflect in any dispute or even insurance claim… Read more »
mariner58 – a simple point, well made. Claiming it’s unsafe, but wanting to use it for free speaks volumes for a significant % of Islanders. Oh … and (as we see here by the comments posted on most articles) they invest time and energy in moaning about this and pretty much every initiative, idea, scheme, investment and progress and our Island. To all these people I suggest… Read more »

Yes, the FORCED QUEUING on the north pavement I s unsafe. If you don’t pay, you don’t have to queue there! Therefore, it is no longer unsafe! Get your facts straight!


I was surprised that the MCA made no comment about the open upper passenger deck. I realise that the guard rails are higher than normal, but how long before some late night reveler falls, jumps or is thrown overboard. Yet another design improvement on no.5 ?

On reflection there is another aspect to this. Tickets are not just a receipt for payment, without a ticket there is no contract of carriage and, therefore, no accepted terms and liabilities between the carrier, IWC, and the passengers. Provided that the crossing has the valid safety certificates issued by the appropriate authorities, whatever may be claimed elsewhere, this could mean; 1. Passengers travel entirely at their… Read more »