Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight floating bridge put up for sale

Floating bridge in Cowes Image copyright iSle of Wight Council
Image caption The chain ferry runs 18 hours a day and carries 1.5 million pedestrians and 400,000 vehicles each year

A 40-year-old floating bridge connecting Cowes and East Cowes is being put up for sale.

A new £3.2m chain ferry is being built in Wales and is due to begin operating on the River Medina in late March.

The old vessel, which has run 18 hours each day, will leave service in January. Isle of Wight council has invited offers for its purchase.

It said the new craft would have "increased capacity and improved facilities".

Shirley Smart, executive member for public transport and tourism, said: "We are looking forward to the arrival of the new floating bridge which will have an increased capacity and improved facilities for foot passengers and cyclists.

Image copyright Paul Gillett
Image caption Isle of Wight Council has invited offers for its purchase

"I am pleased that the construction of the new floating bridge is progressing well and look forward to seeing it start service this spring, serving the communities of Cowes and East Cowes for years to come."

A replacement launch for foot passengers will operate between 2 January and the introduction of the new vessel while vehicles will be diverted via the roads.

The new chain ferry, being funded by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, is currently being built by Mainstay Marine Solutions Ltd in Pembroke.

A new ticketing system using self-service machines and pre-paid cards is also due to start later in the spring.

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