Aside from the many other problems associated with the new £3m floating bridge in Cowes, such as delays coming into service, the unacceptable noise levels, the MCA taking it out of service, it being unable to operate at low tide and now the late night and early morning curfew, some residents have also been highlighting a potential danger to pedestrians.
Council ‘were warned’
Residents say they warned the Isle of Wight council in the run-up to the new bridge coming into service about the potential problem of siting the ticket machines and pedestrian shelter on the north side of the terminal at East Cowes.
Pedestrians would previously queue on the south side of the terminal, allowing vehicles to exit the bridge and follow the one-way traffic down Ferry Road towards the Red Funnel terminal.
Since the new bridge has come into operation, pedestrians now have to gather on the north side of the bridge, at the precise point where certain-sized lorries have to mount the pavement in order to navigate the difficult corner.
Video footage showing difficulties
On Monday afternoon local resident, Cameron Palin, captured the following footage of a very large lorry have great difficulty getting around the bend whilst the pavement was busy with pedestrians, including young children.
Local resident, Allan Marsh, says it’s not so much a danger issue, as the vehicles are travelling very slowly, but more a nuisance for other road users when the large lorries get stuck.
Other residents have highlighted their concerns (their words):
- The bridge has approximately 50% less sheltered pedestrian space, which is more than unpleasant on a cold and/or windy day. There are issues potentially with overcrowding in inclement weather and/or with prams and wheelchairs. There also were reports that scooters and some wheelchairs were being made to park outside.
- The north East Cowes pavement is unfit for purpose with the mandatory queuing there full stop. You can’t fit everyone walking off the bridge and everyone queuing to come onto the bridge on that pavement, without risking people stepping off the kerb into the road frequently. The road is used regularly by cars and lorries exiting GKN, lorries that are turned away from Red Funnel, and townspeople dropping off and picking up people at the floating bridge.
- Lorries, particularly those less familiar with the area, have to mount the northwest pavement right where people are supposed to queue.
- The pedestrian shelter actually has removed some room for people to move quickly out of the way.
- The drop kerb is crossing ‘death corner’ (Ferry Road and Castle Street) where we have had numerous misses
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh