Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Cowes Floating Bridge repairs delayed again

The Cowes Floating Bridge Image copyright Isle of Wight Council
Image caption The £3.2m Floating Bridge Number 6 has been beset by problems since entering service in May 2017

A troubled chain ferry which has suffered repeated technical faults is facing a further delay before it returns to service.

Cowes Floating Bridge, on the Isle of Wight, broke down on 10 September.

The council initially said repair work to fix the prow and hinge mechanism would be completed by this week.

But the authority said it was carrying out extra work to reduce the chance of future breakdowns. It is now expected to be back in service on 30 September.

A launch service is running for foot passengers but drivers face an 11-mile (18km) round trip by road between Cowes and East Cowes.

Isle of Wight Council said the reason for the extended delay was to replace the prow and hinge mechanism on the East Cowes side.

It said this would "minimise the likelihood" of further disruption for motorists should similar problems arise again during scheduled roadworks at St Mary's Roundabout.

The £3.2m chain ferry has experienced a number of failures since it started operating in May 2017.

Issues include it regularly running aground, being taken out of service after a chain broke during a crossing and electrical faults.

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