Cllr Love told OnTheWight that an Isle of Wight council (IWC) officer had confirmed it’s unlikely the floating bridge will be back before next week.
“I’ve not received any precise information other than it’s not expected to be back until next week and that the parts which have failed are bespoke parts.”
Despite knowing this information the council chose to issue the following message at 4.25pm on Wednesday:
A replacement foot passenger launch is in operation up until 11pm tonight and from 5am tomorrow morning, while engineers investigate and repair an issue with FB6’s ramp/ prow assembly.
We will keep you updated on when the vessel will be back in service and apologise for the inconvenience.
Just minutes ago (9.46am), the council have now confirmed to residents the bridge will be out of action until next week.
Lack of transparency?
Members of the public had yesterday asked why, when the Isle of Wight council knew the bridge was unlikely to be in service until next week, were they not telling residents about it.
Andrew Nordbruch said,
“The local media are saying it’s out of action until next week. Why aren’t you saying the same?
“When will this be as good as the old bridge? It’s been over 2 years now and it still doesn’t run a reliable service!”
Ward and Stewart: “Good reliable service”
Cllr Love continued,
“This floating bridge has been a fiasco and failure from the beginning, costing taxpayers millions of pounds extra to simply keep it running.
“One cannot comprehend the position taken by Cllrs Ian Ward and David Stewart who have consistently stated that the bridge is a “good reliable service”.
“We could not see a better evidence trail that tells a story of its failure and embarrassed our officers and our cllr leadership.”
Love: “Not fit for service”
“What is it that prevents our Isle of Wight Council from taking a positive proactive approach and admit that this bridge is not fit for purpose?”
Love: “Order a new bridge”
He went on to say,
“A positive proactive approach would see IWC ordering a new bridge based on taking out a cheap loan, as they have done with other projects, to order a replacement and for that replacement to be funded from the future profits of ticket sales.”
As reported previously by OnTheWight Floating Bridge 5 made a profit of between £140,000-£250,000 per annum, covering the cost of running the service and putting extra cash into the council’s coffers – even before foot passenger charges were introduced.
Love: Administration refused discuss replacement
Cllr Love said,
“Evidence suggests that by introducing foot passenger charging the costs of hiring staff and operating a larger vessel have thrown it into negative equity.
“A modern reduced-size FB based on that of the Floating Bridge 5, would appear to be the solution as was always stated.
“This administration has refused to enter into discussion about replacing this existing vessel, which has more evidence stacked against it to demonstrate that it’s not fit for purpose than most prosecutors could ever dream to accumulate.”
Send it back
He finished by saying,
“Our bridge workforce operators cannot get to grips with something that constantly lets them down. It cannot perform to the standards of the specification requirements commissioned.
“It’s time to make the decision once and for all and for all Island Councillors to demand that a replacement bridge is ordered and this bridge is sent back.”