Floating bridge out of service all week: Updated

Cowes Harbour Commission say the work will take place Tues-Thurs, but Isle of Wight council say the Floating Bridge will be out of action for five days.

floating bridge chains

This in from the Isle of Wight council, Ed

Update: Bridge will be out of action Tuesday-Friday, not Monday as IWC had originally advised.

Experts will fit new chains to the Cowes floating bridge next week to replace the older existing chains – which are at the end of the normal operating life of three years. 

To undertake the fitting, the floating bridge will be out of service from 7am Monday 8th to 7pm Friday 12th July [date and time amended by Ed to read correctly].

This is also to ensure that depth surveys are carried out on the new chains to satisfy the Cowes Harbour Commission’s minimum depth requirement for chain clearance. 

A foot passenger service will be in place for the week, from 5am each morning. 

End of life for current chains
The current chains are the original ones used on the previous floating bridge and have now come to the end of their period of use, having been in place for three years. 

The new chains, coupled with the rubber matting installed last year, should further reduce noise and vibration when the bridge docks. 

“Bridge continues to work well “
The bridge continues to work well and last month operated for 94.3 per cent of its scheduled operating hours, carrying 40,163 foot passengers and 19,200 car users, including over the busy festival period. 

The new chains are expected to last two to three years.

Image: © Allan Marsh

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3 Comments on "Floating bridge out of service all week: Updated"

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It isn’t functioning well, and those numbers of pedestrians and cars are FAR FEWER than the old floating bridge. Stop the relentless spin, Isle of Wight Council, and use the energy to get us a floating bridge that actually works well and quickly. Even 94% availability means that 1 out of every 20 crossings doesn’t happen. Waiting times the other day were more than 30 minutes. Parts… Read more »

The current chains were used for the previous bridge, the new bridge required a greater weight of chain to hod the larger bridge in place with the tide running, now what should be happening is new gear on the bridge and new heavy weight chains, Not just replacement of like for like. A total waste of another 150k of our hard won money.


A two-years life span would indicate those talking heads at the Council have opted for Chinese steel rather than the superior British and German. Short-sighted on their part or just ignorant of life-cycle costing?