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This from OnTheWight reader, Colin McCourt. Ed
So, here we are again, with the Cowes floating bridge out for what the Council would refer to as “Planned Maintenance” this week, but what we would call broken.
Yet another failure on the prow chain/cable system.
Chains replaced in February
This new system, which replaced the chain on its own, was supposed, you would assume, to cure the problem of over stressing the chain on its own which failed back in February.
A disaster waiting to happen?
How long before someone gets hurt when a load bearing structure fails with pedestrians or cars on the prow?
We have already had a serious injury on board the Floating Bridge (and I hear the operative is, thankfully, recovering well) but we don’t yet know if that was due to human error or bad design.
Lack of communication
In my view, yet again the Isle of Wight Council are failing to communicate with the public to let them know what is going on.
They are repeatedly failing to engage with engineers (whom they refer to as “activists”) who could help them sort out their issues (if indeed they can be solved at all).
They have cobbled together a Floating Bridge “Users Group” whose members do not have any engineering experience necessary to try and help the Council with their obvious issues.
Their meetings are closed to the public and it all appears to pay lip service to solving the issues, both design and economic.
Public not told about the consultation
Another example of their failure to communicate (in a bid, I suspect, stop comments) is the consultation period that opened on 5th October for the latest business case put forward by the council to the Solent local Enterprise Partnership (the body who provided the original funding) concerning the new Floating Bridge.
Nothing was known about this by members of the public until 25th October, even though Dave Stewart is a member of the SLEP and would have known about its release.
The council officers would have known as well. How can this happen?
Laughing stock of the Island
This floating bridge debacle is making a laughing stock of the Island with residents being questioned about it by people on the mainland.
It is time for Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart, and Cabinet member, Ian Ward to finally admit defeat on this issue, admit they were wrong, and engage with people who actually know something about the issues.
Failing that they should resign.