Stop spending millions on failing floaty & get a new one!

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......AND please also WRITE to the floating bridge consultation being conducted by the main funder, the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (look for “Floating Bridge Revised Business Case” here: https://solentlep.org.uk/get-involved/consultations-have-your-say/)

To:

  • John Metcalfe – Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight Council and Floating Bridge 6 Project Sponsor
  • Cllr David Stewart - Leader of the Isle of Wight Council
  • Cllr Ian Ward - Cabinet member for Infrastructure and Transport
  • Sean Newton - Project Manager for Floating Bridge 6 & Commercial Services Manager
  • Isle of Wight Council

Isle of Wight residents should NOT be paying for the mistakes of Council mismanagement for the next 30 years by being left with a substandard floating bridge and also by losing the extra money which the old floating bridge made regularly for the Council.

Isle of Wight Council: get us another floating bridge that works properly and makes money again so you can fund our public services!  Stop making bad decisions which hurt local businesses and Isle of Wight residents!

The Isle of Wight’s floating bridge 6 has many design and engineering problems that can’t be fixed or are too expensive to resolve. The old floating bridge was extremely reliable, frequent, fit for purpose, and made extra money for the Isle of Wight Council.  

The Council having already forked out some £6.4 million appears to be happy wasting millions of pounds trying to fix problems that can’t be fixed, and ignoring others completely.  Despite claims otherwise, the floating bridge is still making horrendous noises, cars are grounding, cables and chains snap, a big barge pushes it along many days a month, it overheats, and it gets stuck in the mud or strands people on the bridge when it can’t manoeuvre around a pile, amongst many other operational and design problems. It has faults because in many ways it is too big to operate in the local tides, weather, marine traffic, and other conditions.  The floating bridge has not met its technical specification, nor has it met its many requirements.

For the last year and a half, the Council has refused to meet with local qualified engineers - offering a free service - who warned about the many problems which the Council do not seem to be acknowledging. In June 2017, the Floating Bridge Stakeholders’ Group recommended rejecting or selling off the floating bridge whilst it was still new – to prevent wasting money on unsuccessful attempts to fix fundamental design problems - and procuring a new bridge whilst also buying a Council-owned disabled-access launch to further save money when the floating bridge is being maintained.

If the Council had taken action then, it may have prevented wasting a LOT of taxpayers’ money being wasted on many failed fix attempts.

Taxpayers refuse to be penalised for the Council’s project management incompetence and do not want any more of our money wasted on something that will never work properly for local businesses and traffic congestion relief.  

Enough is enough! We are requesting that the Council stops throwing money at this money pit and cut its losses by selling this floating bridge now - before it depreciates any more - and by procuring a new floating bridge more similar in size and spec to the successful floating bridge number 5.  Additionally, the Council must buy a disabled-access launch to operate during the floating bridge number 7 procurement process and at routine maintenance, as this will save the Council further expensive launch charges.

Stop giving our taxpayer money away to the private sector and depreciating public assets!  Do not privatise our floating bridge because it was and can be profitable for the Council again.

BAD FOR BUSINESSES AND TRAFFIC: The floating bridge is an extremely important part of the island’s infrastructure and is supposed to function with the reliability of a road, and now its overall unreliability, infrequency, inconsistency, continues to cost the Council money and is hurting local businesses badly and causing traffic problems. 

Poor infrastructure causes economic damage.  This floating bridge is not nearly as good as the old floating bridge 5.

LINKS:

Have your say in the Floating Bridge CONSULTATION for floating bridge (look for “Floating Bridge Business Case”): https://solentlep.org.uk/get-involved/consultations-have-your-say/

Interesting link – minutes from 2015 (after bridge was designed but before it was built) where the Council appears to be warned by Cowes Harbour Commission about the design: https://www.iow.gov.uk/azservices/documents/1335-J-10384-00-005-minutes-of-meetingRedacted.pdf