In an email to the ‘Assistant Director Neighbourhoods’, Dave Stewart (the Council Leader) and Ian Ward (the responsible Cabinet member), Cllr Karl Love referred to the situation as “a totally unacceptable fiasco”.
Love: “Isle of Wight Council made very public promises”
A council press release issued on Monday afternoon opened with, “We are pleased to report that work to resolve the Hydraulic Problems with the Cowes Floating Bridge are nearing completion”.
In his email Cllr Love says,
“How could one be ‘pleased to report’ another three week delay?
“Isle of Wight Council made very public promises to the people of East and West Cowes in the press and it is they who have to bear the brunt.
“Here we are yet again throwing more money away despite that fact that I suggested some years ago that we should purchase our own launch to help reduce costs in times of failure.”
Love: “Simplicity and common sense was all that was required”
Cllr Love – who has previously called for Ian Ward’s resignation over the Floating Bridge 6 fiasco – went on to say,
“Who is responsible for this fiasco? Let me guess, no one!
“Why would anyone commission a vessel, with such complicated untested engineering, when simplicity and common sense was all that was required.”
Out of service for quarter of the year
The floating bridge has been out of service since 14th July 2020. Back in mid-August Cllr Ian Ward rejected claims that parts for the prow hydraulics on the Floating Bridge could take up to 30 weeks to arrive.
When asked whether the Bridge could be out of service for eight weeks, he did not respond and still hasn’t.
If the Bridge does return to service on 17th October, as stated by the council, it will have been out of service for almost 14 weeks. That’s over a quarter of the year.
A launch service for foot passengers continues to operate from 0500 – 2300hrs (0630-2300hrs Sundays) until the Floating Bridge returns to full service.
Long tailbacks into Newport
Meanwhile vehicles wishing to cross the Medina between Cowes and East Cowes are continuing to have to drive via Newport through the St Mary’s roundabout works.
On Monday afternoon, there were slow moving tailbacks from the roundabout to as far north as past Stag Lane for drivers attempting to get into Newport from Cowes. Not an uncommon sight, according to drivers.
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh