Isle of Wight company commissioned to make the Floating bridge work as it should

The council choose to describe this new work to the Floating Bridge as ‘improvements’. Shouldn’t all of these things have been delivered when the then-new Floating bridge was received a year and two months ago?

floating bridge

This in from the council – Ed.

The Isle of Wight Council has commissioned Wight Shipyard to design further improvements to the floating bridge, including the ability for it to operate in all tide conditions.

The East Cowes-based business is drafting plans for hydraulics to tighten and slacken the bridge’s chains, giving yachts proper clearance at all times of the tide – the major technical problem that needs solving.

“Better access for vehicles”
In addition, it will draw up proposals for new prow finger extensions to allow better access for vehicles and reduce noise when the floating bridge docks.

“The council is very pleased to be working in partnership with a prominent local company to design improvements that will help provide what we need for the floating bridge to work at all times of the tide,” said council leader Councillor Dave Stewart.

Stewart: Current floating bridge “very much showing it’s reliable”

“Between April and June 120,000 foot passengers and 48,000 vehicles used the service – very much showing it’s reliable and earning money for Islanders – however, we want it to be 100 per cent.

“Finding a solution to the chain depth issue is complex because of the nature of the Medina, but initial designs and discussion between Mainstay – the builder of the floating bridge – Wight Shipyard, Cowes Harbour Commission and the council are certainly encouraging and we all are committed to working together.”

“The floating bridge cannot run at certain times”
Currently, the floating bridge cannot run at certain times due to issues with the chain depth during a fast-flowing spring ebb tide.

Finding a “workable solution”
Peter Morton, Wight Shipyard chief executive, said:

“We want to move forward and resolve the issues and we believe we can.

“The chain ferry is vital to East Cowes, West Cowes and indeed the whole Island so we look forward to working together to find a workable solution, while keeping the ferry operating.”

Mainstay managing director, Stewart Graves, added:

“We are pleased Wight Shipyard will be working on design improvements to the drive chain tension and we look forward to working with them to negate this operational issue.”

The cost? Unknown
The cost of the improvement work will only be known when a design solution is chosen by the council following a procurement process.

The floating bridge has made in total £578,000 for the council since it entered service in May last year. It made £193,000 between April and June this year.

Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh

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9 Comments on "Isle of Wight company commissioned to make the Floating bridge work as it should"

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A few points – Does this mean that the Isle of Wight Council (IOWC) have accepted Floating Bridge No:6 from the shipbuilders Mainstay Marine? “The floating bridge has made in total £578,000 for the council since it entered service in May last year. It made £193,000 between April and June this year.” – Is that gross revenue or does it take into account the £900,000+ spent by… Read more »
It is hard to imagine how the word ‘incompetence’ can be avoided regarding those who drew up the contract for the floating bridge! Most if not all the ‘improvements’ being worked on should have been considered when the contract for its build was put together. ‘Not fit for purpose’ is the only phrase that can be levelled at the floating bridge. The improvements will not be cheap… Read more »
I absolutely agree and have raised it several times before on this site. I believe the specifications, tendering and contract were all conducted and ‘signed off’ before the current administration took control but there seems to be a bizarre reluctance to admit who was responsible. The current Chief Executive must surely have been involved. It is way passed the time for the individuals responsible to be named,… Read more »
So, the floating bridge has MADE a total of £578,000 since coming into service. The word made is incorrect as it may have TAKEN this amount but the amount it made would be the £578,000 minus operating costs for staff, servicing, Jenny boat etc etc. What we need to know from this council, who appear to have Dianne Abbott in their finance department, is how much the… Read more »
So by joining the dots we now know that the council have accepted this miserable pile of junk. If Mainstay Marine were financing this work as part of their commitment to delivering a fit for use ferry then the council woukdnt be commissioning Wight Shipyard to do the work, Mainstay would be. I bet MM are delighted to work with Wight Shipyard, at least there are some… Read more »

Read and understand the Technical Requirement Specification produced by BCTQ before pointing fingers at Mainstay Marine.

So Cllr Stewart is ‘very pleased to be working in partnership’ with Mr Morton and Mr Graves who are are working together to ‘find a workable solution;’ and ‘design improvements.’ In view of the IW Council’s demonstrable inability to coordinate the various parties in the original contracts may we now see a copy of this latest contract or partnership agreement which will no doubt be paid for… Read more »
And off we go again!! More blather, more false claims about this wreck ‘making’ money, more alterations and worst of all, our beloved council will be expected to choose an option for putting boatface where it should have been before delivery!! All of this is on top of recent comments about just how brilliant and reliable she is at the moment.. obviously forgetting the latest removal from… Read more »

More research before commitment would have probably been a better move.

A smaller version of the above may have worked complete with thrusters etc.