Isle of Wight council CEO reveals return date for Cowes Floating Bridge

The Cowes Floating Bridge has been out of service for nine weeks already. In a letter to the town council, John Metcalfe reveals when it is expected to return

floating bridge suspended sign

In a letter to East Cowes Town Council, the Isle of Wight council’s Chief Executive, John Metcalfe, reveals a date for the return of the Cowes Floating Bridge.

In response to a letter from the town council that called for compensation for East Cowes businesses, Mr Metcalfe writes,

“I am advised that the vessel is expected to be back in service in the week commencing 28 of September.”

No service for nine weeks so far
The bridge has been out of service for nine weeks, after being taken out of service on 14th July 2020 for an anticipated ten days of maintenance work.

Its return was delayed several times before the council admitted they didn’t know when it would return due to a ‘major fault’.

At the end of August a council report laid the blame for the catalogue of floating bridge failures at the feet of the two companies involved in its design and build.

A petition calling for an independent inquiry into the Floating Bridge has attracted over 2,500 signatures.

IWC warned for years
Earlier this week the Floating Bridge Engineers’ and Stakeholders’ Group explained how they have been warning the Isle of Wight council for many years about the ongoing failures of Floating Bridge 6. This was in response to the council leader saying,

“What we did not expect was the catalogue of problems we have since experienced over the subsequent years.”

Source: East Cowes Town Council Website

Friday, 18th September, 2020 12:21pm



Filed under: Cowes, East Cowes, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Roads, Top story, Travel

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10 Comments on "Isle of Wight council CEO reveals return date for Cowes Floating Bridge"

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Rhos yr Alarch

“advised that it is expected…” does not sound the most definite of answers!

Benny C
Seems ok. Clearly work not finished yet. Remember that everything they do has to be thought through in terms of the potential court action For costs and losses . Even innocuous sounding correspondence will be scrutinised by the defendents lawyers searching for ways to reduce or refute claims – so he has to be careful in case he unwittingly assists their case. Sad but true I’m afraid,… Read more »

They have been hiding behind the threat of legal action for two years and failed to answers even simple questions citing they may do something. They use the term maintenance to try and diminish the many problems they have, instead saying it is unplanned maintenance which means it is broken! Meanwhile we, the taxpayer, continue to bankroll this useless lump.

I’ve read the letter from the CEO of our council to the East Cowes Town Council. The questions I have are; Who advised you of the expected date of the return of the floating bridge? Was it the councillor responsible for Transport and Infrastructure or another third party? What risks have been identified to cause this date to slip? For instance, are there any engineering issues, lack… Read more »

And who are their engineering experts overseeing the solutions to ensure the solution to this problem will be long lasting?


Yee-haw! Wonderful news, give everyone a pay rise! Oh, you’ve done that already haven’t you.


It’s Metcalfe who has been overseeing this whole debacle from the start. If this was a business he would have been sacked long ago instead of being paid a six figure salary!


They are teasing again


You mean they are bull sh***ing again, don’t you?


It was all very quiet during the week – no sign of any workforce on board. Get that bridge sorted a little way up river and this digraceful situation might be a thing of the past….one day.