Following news the Isle of Wight council may pursue legal action against the company responsible for the technical specification, a shop owner who closed her business after more than two decades in East Cowes said the Cowes floating bridge was to blame.
Business decimated by floating bridge impact
Angela Booth ran Value4U on Castle Street for 22 years with her husband, Roger. Her shop also took on the role of East Cowes tourist information centre.
“Closing the business was the hardest decision we have ever made. We could see the footfall depleting. We knew the high streets were battling, but we’d been through recessions, we’d been through floods.
“But with the Floating Bridge, footfall was not here every single day, which we relied on.”
She said since she had shut up shop, at least four other businesses had followed suit.
Leader: “I haven’t seen Waitrose close”
However, Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart, said:
“I think some of it is down to your business case.
“I haven’t seen Waitrose close. It will have an effect but I don’t think you can put it all down to the bridge.”
Resident: Unbearable noise
Meanwhile, a resident who lives next to the bridge said the noise was so unbearable, he would soon be forced to move.
Noel Brooks has lived on the River Medina for eight years. He said:
“Sometimes the noise at nighttime is like someone has got a big mallet and is hitting the hull of the ship, but it’s just the chains.
“It’s just noise, and we are fed up. I’d like to meet the person who says the noise is acceptable.”
Peacey-Wilcox: Impact of bridge failures “unacceptable”
Councillor for Cowes Medina, Lora Peacey-Wilcox said the impact of the bridge had been unacceptable.
“The economy both sides has suffered dreadfully. People used to enjoy popping to Cowes for food and drink, and likewise Cowes residents used to nip across to Waitrose on a regular basis. This has dramatically declined.
“From having to wait longer, uncertainty, added to the fact pedestrians now pay; the necessity of having to load and unload passengers and cars separately have all had a negative impact.
“Quite simply, and with a heavy heart, Floating Bridge 6 will never be fit for purpose, it is too large, and too heavy for this crossing.”
More to follow.
- Isle of Wight council finally admit floating bridge did not meet the requirements
- Isle of Wight council leader says they ‘could have moved quicker’ over floating bridge problems
- ‘Floating Bridge 6 should be scrapped’, say stakeholders
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh