Floating bridge to be suspended for final snagging

The floating bridge will be out of action Tuesday and Wednesday as it enters the final stage of commissioning.

floating bridge

The Council share this latest news. Ed

This week, the Cowes floating bridge will enter the final phase of commissioning, at the end of which, all being well, the floating bridge will officially become the property of the Isle of Wight Council.

Mainstay Marine will be on site throughout this week and will be aiming to address any outstanding snags; carrying out any additional work as required; and undertaking trails and performance testing on the vessel.

In order for Mainstay Marine to inspect and test the chain wheels and troughs, the floating bridge will be taken out of service from 8.00am on Tuesday 18 July until 8.00am on Thursday 20th July.

The replacement launch, The Jenny, will run as an alternative for foot passengers until 11.00pm over this two day period.

The Floating bridge will operate as per its normal scheduled timetable today (17 July) and resume the scheduled timetable again, from Thursday 20 July of this week.

The Isle of Wight Council Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, Cllr Ian Ward, said:

“Once again I would like to thank the community for their patience, as the Cowes floating bridge enters this final phase of commissioning.

“We will be working with partners this week, including the harbour commission, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, to ensure that we are satisfied that all potential issues outstanding have been addressed and that it is deemed fit for purpose, in order to officially take ownership of the floating bridge. I have no doubt that this service will become as well loved as the previous floating bridge in time.

“We are consulting with partners currently on the wider operation of the floating bridge service, specifically the pedestrian and traffic management at East Cowes, in order to ensure the service can be used in better manner than any previous floating bridge has done, in that area.”

For further information on the Floating Bridge

Location map
View the location of this story.

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


  1. eastcowes

    17.Jul.2017 7:39pm

    The Council hasn’t even done an independent engineering audit to know what all of the problems are!

    You don’t have the same people who want you to pay them tell you what the problems are; they won’t give you a comprehensive list!

    Why would any organisation pay the full amount for a product that is subject to a full audit by Price Waterhouse Consultants before the audit has been completed?

    • Luisa Hillard

      18.Jul.2017 11:06pm

      I question whether PWC have the expertise to carry out a proper engineering audit? They are accountants. I get the impression that their role is to check if the tendering process and project board monitoring was carried out correctly, rather than if the design itself has faults.

      I thought that perhaps the Royal Institute of Naval Architects would be better placed to carry out a peer review of the work and an independent quality control assessment. There are many expert naval architects in the local area (though perhaps not with the relevant experience) but they could check if the calculations and computer modelling had been done correctly and if the specification document had been followed… if the build is to spec.

      The IWC has a memorandum of understanding with Southampton University and they must have the Naval Architecture professors able to undertake such an audit – they could even make it a teaching project next term. A dissertation in the making for some lucky student!

      It would seem that the MCA identified some issues early on – which may have been a lack of training, rather than engineering ones – but they will also have experts who can carry out engineering audits. Conveniently they also have an office not far away.

      I don’t think that there will be any irregularities in the tendering/commissioning process from a paperwork trail point of view. The Council’s very particular about following procedures and procurement law.

      The missing information everyone wants to know is:
      1. What are the identified problems?
      2. Are these problems design or build issues?
      3. Have they been (can they be) mitigated?
      4. Are there are access issues that do not meet disability access legislation requirements?

      • Luisa, we’ve already asked all of these questions and made these points to the Council, to the press, etc.. Literally every single one. If you come to the many meetings, you’ll know what’s going on. People have been working on this day in and day out for well over two months now.

  2. downstreamer

    18.Jul.2017 7:37am

    How can Cllr Ward accept this vessel on behalf of the IW Council before all the requirements of their Technical Specification have been conducted successfully?

    The designers have unequivocally stated in the contract document that the vessel shall operate with specific Environmental Conditions (G1.3).

    These criteria include “Ebb flow of 5 knots and wind speed of 55 knots.”

    Why rush the acceptance this week?

    Next week on 25th July 2017 there will in all probability be a 5 knot tidal flow which will provide such an opportunity for testing.

    The wind speed is another matter particularly when the prevailing south westerlies combine with the force of the ebb flow.

    Why the undue haste?

    Let’s take our time ensure we have purchased a ferry that meets all of its design requirements and do not part with any more money until the ship builder completes the necessary modifications to meet them all.

  3. Steve Goodman

    19.Jul.2017 3:09pm

    The latest fickle FB cost over £3milion of the almost £15m of our money granted to the SLEP; the rest is for lucky greedy Red Funnel, who are demanding in addition more valuable land at E.Cowes rather than get on with improving their own site without needlessly threatening other businesses, jobs, and homes.

    Reinforcing the conclusion that those with the power and our money might make some of the right noises but actually keep letting us down.

Add comment