Floating Bridge: Timetable for Christmas and New Year 2018

Cllr Ward says he’s particularly pleased with November’s availability figures for the Floating Bridge, because, he says “they show, without doubt, the floating bridge is doing the job it was built for the vast majority of the time”.

floaty and crane

The council share this latest news. Ed

The Cowes floating bridge will run on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and its hours will be extended on New Year’s Eve.

On Christmas Eve, the service will run from 5.15am until 12.30am, before resuming on Christmas Day morning from 7am.

It will stop for two hours due to tides between 4.25pm and 6.25pm.

On Boxing Day, the vessel will run from 7am to 12.30am on 27 December.

The regular timetable will continue until New Year’s Eve, when the service will run from 5am to the later time of 1.30am on New Year’s Day morning.

It will resume at 6.30am on New Year’s Day.

The news comes on the back of the release of November’s availability figures showing the chain ferry was in operation for 99.5 per cent of its scheduled hours.

Ward: Extended hours into New Year’s Day
Cllr Ian Ward, Cabinet member responsible for the vessel.

“Residents will be able to use the floating bridge during the Christmas period so they can enjoy shopping, celebrating and travelling to family and friends.

“Importantly, there will be extended hours into New Year’s Day because we recognise that people will need to get home safely and not have to rely on taxis.

“In addition, I’m particularly pleased with November’s availability figures because they show, without doubt, the floating bridge is doing the job it was built for the vast majority of the time.

“There are still issues and Wight Shipyard continues to work on solutions to allow the vessel to operate in all tides, but the service continues to improve.”

Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh

Tuesday, 18th December, 2018 10:51am


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

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

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

7 Comments on "Floating Bridge: Timetable for Christmas and New Year 2018"

newest oldest most voted
Email updates?

Three questions for Councillor Ward about his statements:

Shouldn’t the Floating Bridge be available all of the time and not just “the vast majority of time?”

Wasn’t “the job it was built for” crossing the River Medina regularly, safely, and without assistance from another vessel?

Haven’t the Floating Bridge operators always worked every Christmas and New Year since living memory?


1230am is half past midnight. 1230pm is half past lunchtime. Using the 24 hour clock 0030 is half past midnight and 1230 just after lunch…unless it’s all been changed in the pm’s deal!

Sally Perry

Not sure what you’re getting at planespeaker – the floating bridge WILL be running until half an hour after midnight, so the 12.30am reference is correct.


Using the 24 hour clock is non-ambiguous.


Cllr Ward speaks with forked tongue.

Great news and despite the barrage of negativity it seems that the improvements required are slowly coming into fruition – noting that only approximately 85% of all trains in the UK ran to time (those that actually ran and weren’t cancelled), I think the chain ferry is doing OK. It would be helpful to have much wider publicity where the tides prevent operation as the website isn’t… Read more »
Stuart George

As you quote railway statistics, I think you ought to compare like with like. Island Line figures for November are that 99.3% of trains ran on time, and 944 out of 945 trains ran (99.9%). All this with 80 year old trains, bought for £1! Remind me how old the floating bridge is, and how much it cost.