Letter: It’s time for Ian Ward and Dave Stewart to admit they were wrong over floating bridge

This reader explains why he believes it’s time for Cllr Stewart and Cllr Ward to admit they were wrong on the Floating Bridge issue and engage with people who actually know something about it.

ian ward and dave stewart

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.

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.

My assumption is that, following the original failure, all four chains were replaced with this new design (although there may now need to be a third design) so this failure is all the more worrying.

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.

Thursday, 1st November, 2018 8:42am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2lLm

Filed under: Cowes, East Cowes, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor, Top story

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6 Comments on "Letter: It’s time for Ian Ward and Dave Stewart to admit they were wrong over floating bridge"

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Well said Colin Mc Court.

Isn’t IWC Chief Executive John Metcalfe actually responsible for this mess?

Shouldn’t he be sacked?

Indeed! John Metcalfe was the Project Sponsor. The Council officers aren’t engineers. They need the help of the stakeholder engineers who are unbiased, unlike potentially Mainstay and others. The officers and councillors should not have the authority to sign off on this until it is as good or better than floating bridge 5, and all of the engineering is signed off by proper unbiased engineers who can… Read more »

Is he the one on £65000 as project miss? manager.
Hope he wont get a bonus!


yes it’ll be a pain in the rear end but what if everyone boycotted it….. even for a couple of days – once the thing is running again!


FB6 is unreliable and an embarrassment to the Isle of Wight. It should be scrapped and a bridge crossing introduced to replace it.


Well said… but never gonna happen… their collective backsides could be in flames and they would deny there was a fire, then they would blame council officers, then the public then (if they could find one) call the firebrigade and blame each other! They THINK they have credibility with the voters, but if they dared look outside their local sycophants they would realise they have none.