Isle of Wight council ‘take the opportunity’ to replace second prow on floating bridge

The floating bridge will not be back into service for at least another week, with the Isle of Wight council saying they’re ‘taking the opportunity’ to replace the other prow and hinge.

floating bridge suspended

The floating bridge will not return to service until the end of next week.  

The reason for the extended delay is that, in addition to the completion of the current works to repair the prow and hinge mechanism on the Cowes prow side, we are taking the opportunity while the vessel is out of the water to also replace the prow and hinge mechanism on the East Cowes side to ensure the continued operation of the bridge.

Avoiding trouble during work on St Mary’s roundabout
This will not only address the current problem but also minimise the likelihood of having to take the vessel out of service, should a similar problem arise during the St. Mary’s Roundabout road works.

The council recognises the value and option the floating bridge will provide during the proposed St Mary’s road works to help mitigate disruption and provide an alternative to commuters and other road users in the Cowes and East Cowes area, as well as supporting the economy of those communities.

Both prows will be tested and it is expected the vessel will be back in full service by 30 September. The foot passenger launch will remain in place in the meantime, offering a shuttle service for pedestrians between 5am to 11pm daily.

The improvement works to the vessel are part of our strategy to maintain a good and reliable service for the floating bridge, as reflected in recent figures of use. Approximately 200,000 foot passengers and 78,000 cars used the bridge over the last four months.

These figures are publicly available, on the dedicated floating bridge website at: https

Friday, 20th September, 2019 11:43am



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Newport, Roads, Top story

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17 Comments on "Isle of Wight council ‘take the opportunity’ to replace second prow on floating bridge"

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So that’s a further 10 days out of service. Spin that one Councillors Ward and Stewart.

Alternative Perspective

Don’t worry about the second prow, take the opportunity to replace the whole bridge


When I spoke with the head of highways during the residents consultation regarding the St Mary’s changes, they mentioned that the availability and service of the floating bridge had no effect on the traffic in the area. So what is the actual truth here?

Thank you Neil for supplying some real comparison figures to add perspective. “The Figures given by IWC Leader are very poor compared with previous years four months use May through” Aug 2011 May to Aug 119,369 2012 May to Aug 111,864 2013 May to Aug 115,628 2014 May to Aug 107,271 2015 May to Aug 99,528 2019 May to Aug 78, 234 The 2019 figures are well… Read more »

The council talks about maintaining “a good and reliable service”.

Even taking just this latest doubling time out of service it would be hard to find a definition of either “good” or “reliable” that fits the floating bodge.

Unless, of course, they mean good at breaking down and reliable at being out of service.

The floating bodge seems ideally suited to achieve both those aims.


Now how about replacing the middle as well….?


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


I wonder if former county councillor Phil Jordan is still claiming the procurement of the floating bridge was a triumph for his administration.
Lest we forget the whole thing was commissioned, designed, built and installed on the Independent’s watch. The Tories have not exactly got to grips with the problem with particular gusto but they were left a dud by Phil and his mob.

Geoff Brodie

Phil Jordan actually claims getting the funding was a triumph.The procurement was managed tightly by officers of the Council with even then leading councillors like Phil kept at arms length at all times. That is how the Council’s procurement rules work. I say this as someone who has never been a member of a ruling administration.

Cllr Brodie. If senior councillors allow themselves to be kept at arms length on what is an important procurement project then they are feeble. How else are administrations supposed to be politically accountable if the members abdicate their responsibilities to officers. I am genuinely surprised at your acceptance of members allowing themselves to be an irrelevance. You sound like a man who has had enough and won’t… Read more »
Geoff Brodie

Acceptance ? Never. Just pointing out facts. Standing down ? So many will be hoping that will be true……

Benny C
So, our not so Great Leader has done nothing to make an example of those accountable. Weakness that simply propagates the ineptitude for which this regime will be remembered. Trouser browser Ian Ward is disastrous as Cabinet member for Transport and Infrastructure. All he seems to do is deliver / control very little, act with indifferent arrogance rather than competent confidence ( which we would welcome and… Read more »

“Trouser browser”, I had to Google that term, having done so I think it is inappropriate language for a public forum. Maybe you would like to withdraw the comment?

Benny C
Fair challenge, thank you for reading what I wrote. I will expand on the phrase to remove any doubt as to its origin. Ian Ward was photographed browsing on line for trousers in an important IOWC Scrutiny Committee meeting. He is a full member of that Committee , a privilege which anticipates certain standards of behaviour. He acts , on this committee, as a representative both of… Read more »

He really should! withdraw his comment. Browsing online for trousers was not the comments he has previously used. He has been implying that Cllr Ian Ward is an actual “Trouser Browser” which most people know is a term that homophobic people use to describe a homosexual, and to have an extreme dislike of- or prejudice against any homosexual people.

Benny C
Denbo I’ve asked several people who also back your point. I absolutely withdraw the phrase unreservedly to avert any potential for misinterpretation. I want people to know that in his capacity as a Councillor this individual acts in a way we should be most concerned about and which voters should challenge. It was not my intention to make assertions or assumptions about his personal activities or preferences.… Read more »

I thought it started under Pugh’s watch?