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


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2ft2

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

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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.


  1. mariner58

    14.Jul.2017 4:04pm

    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!

  2. eastcowes

    14.Jul.2017 9:06pm

    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 around by bus instead, costing the Council LOADS of money because the bridge is infrequent and unreliable, we have to do everything to make the bridge faster and used by many. It’s a huge physical barrier now, so we need to remove the additional financial barrier. After all, we are walking long distances and then an at-most 150 hop as to not inconvenience the yachts and barges taking your petrol and aggregate up river. We aren’t taking a jolly. Waiting 30 minutes to get to the other side means you don’t use it.

    So, yes, remove the pedestrian charges because they never made sense and make even less sense now. The bridge is become a money pit instead of the goose that laid golden eggs.

    BTW the vehicle use has gone down significantly in the last 10 years. Why make a bigger bridge (larger supply) when demand has fallen?

  3. mariner58

    15.Jul.2017 6:24am

    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 in the event of an accident or injury.

    These are two quite distinct issues, the question of charges has no bearing on the question of safety which you have quite deliberately avoided.

    To attempt to claim ‘lack of safety’ as a reason to drop the charges is considerably more than just foolish.

  4. 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 you read the article about Andy Stanford-Clark, be inspired, get positive and see where/how you can contribute! The Isle of Wight is a wonderful and special place – to live, work and visit.

  5. eastcowes

    15.Jul.2017 4:59pm

    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!

  6. 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 ?

  7. mariner58

    16.Jul.2017 7:56am

    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 own risk in all respects, or

    2. The carrier, IWC, has an unlimited and unrestricted liability for everyone using the crossing.

    I imagine any compensation claim would by quite interesting.

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