Revealed: Price Isle of Wight Council sold last Floating Bridge for

The person who owns it now is still trying to sell it for £125,000 – but guess how much Isle of Wight council sold it for? Thanks to a resident’s FOI request, OnTheWight can share the answer.


A month or so before it was taken out of service, Isle of Wight council invited tenders for the former floating bridge, FB5.

No details of how much they hoped to get for the sale of the bridge were revealed at the time, but it was moved off the Island and moored in Gosport looking very sorry for itself for many months after it came out of service.

Up for sale for £125,000
In September last year (2017), the CP reported that FB5 had been sold by the council and was subsequently being advertised for sale at the grand price of £125,000.

So many have been wondering how much the council got for it.

£100,000? £80,000? Or maybe even just £50,000?

Takes an FOI request to get answers
Last year OnTheWight asked the council how much the bridge had been sold for but was given a reply that didn’t answer the question.

However, thanks to a Freedom of Information request by East Cowes resident, Cameron Palin, OnTheWight can now reveal how much the council received for the sale of FB5.

A whopping £7,670 plus VAT at £1,534 = £9,204

Cameron had also asked:

“Given Floating Bridge 6 cost over £3.5 million to build and other costs which have occurred such as the slip way, shelter, staff, maintenance etc, was this money used towards any of the this?”

The reply from the council was, “No”.

Still for sale
OnTheWight got in touch with the broker on Friday, who told us that, as far as they knew, the bridge was still for sale.

If you fancy buying it, they are open to offers around £125,000.

Here she is taking passengers on her last day of crossing in January 2017 – video courtesy of Dave Russell from Wight Media Service.

Image: © Apollo Duck

Saturday, 6th October, 2018 5:20pm



Filed under: Cowes, East Cowes, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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21 Comments on "Revealed: Price Isle of Wight Council sold last Floating Bridge for"

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Could this be the most incompetent council in Britain ?


That is absolutely scandalous!

So the council sold something that worked for £7,670 and purchased something “not fit for purpose” for £3,500,000 plus the hundreds of thousands to keep it afloat and work occasionally.

If a playwright wrote this saga it could only be classed as a “farce”.


Why is the Council practically giving away our old floating bridge? It’s our money; they should be selling it for a decent price!

I just don’t get why the council are so tied to this. They could easily say it was all the fault the last bunch, take the hit and get a working answer, like a reconditioned old floating bridge. We’ll all nod and pretend we agree. The only answer we want is a working floating bridge or other solution. Pretending this is all working well insults the electorate… Read more »

Maybe because the Project Sponsor was John Metcalfe, current Chief Executive and Project Manager Sean Newton. Both council officers, not politicians

Another Perspective

These councillors are completely useless when it comes to spend our (my) hard earned council tax money, like the 20 cameras they bought at £850 a pop. We need to remember who precisely they are, and vote them all out in the next council elections


The Council also stated that they would not sell FB 5 before they accepted the new one. However they did, at a knockdown price and still haven’t accepted the new one. Lied once again.


Well remembered and well said! It’s clear that the Council doesn’t care about getting “top dollar” for its assets. Now the IW Council is investing tonnes of money in assets…..I hope that their maths and negotiating sales skills are much better than anything and everything to do with both floating bridge’s!

Another Perspective

Unbelievable! How much are these charlatans in the Council costing the IW taxpayer?

All the comments on this issue are bang on point. I disagree though with the expressed sentiment that Councillors are solely to blame for the obvious and apparent complete waste of public funds at a time when Local Authorities are being made to balance their spending with the income they recieve, (long over due policy, by the way). Undoubtedly, there are many Councillors clearly and demonstrably unfit… Read more »
Another Perspective

Can’t we crowd fund and buy it back?


And put it back into service!!!


Some better governance and competence checks would, I am sure, be welcomed by IOW voters before any more Councillors with questionable capabilities and behaviours are appointed.

Regrettably their wards voted them in. So somehow we need to make sure their wards vote them out again as soon as possible.

Another Perspective

So they sold it for £9,204

I think it was residing in Southampton, how much did it cost the Council to have it towed to the mainland, and how much were the mooring fees prior to its sale?

It is in Gosport, and the scrap metal value is worth a lot in and of itself. Plus there were some particular chain wheels that were supposed to be taken from it to put on the new one which the Council forgot to do, and after floating bridge 6 went into service, the Council had to spend loads of money commissioning those wheels which they should have… Read more »

Well it covered the cost of the temporary mesh matting…

Why on earth are we suprised by anything this mob do anymore? Let us not forget the grand asset strip that saw The Botanical gardens and the Winter Garden going for about a tenner each, then of course Undercliffe and the constant issues with our perfectly working FB6 and the grand give away of FB5! They have cost us millions, lost our services and enjoyed this decade… Read more »
In the commercial world the word corruption would automatically spring to mind given the huge differential between the sale price and the current selling price. To assuage any concerns that the sale may have been conducted in a manner not conducive to the best interest of council tax payers let’s see the Request for Bid document package, the resultant bids and the name with address of the… Read more »
Another Perspective

Just travelled on floaty, no sign of the matting, has it been scrapped already? The tugboat was there helping it limp across against the tide. How much is this all costing? It surely can’t be covering its operating costs


And to top it all they gave themselves a pay rise !

Steve Goodman
A little more on money movement and the associated actions of our political servants; a reminder that The Spider’s Web film will be shown for free this evening – 8pm at Newport’s Riverside Centre, followed by the chance to chat with with producer John Christensen, director of the Tax Justice Network. Probably also worth noting that more on the subject of poor choices for coastal communities leads… Read more »