Return of Cowes floating bridge could be delayed after more issues found

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Cowes floating bridge Credit: ITV News Meridian

The return of the Cowes floating bridge could be delayed again after further issues with the ferry were identified.

The Cowes to East Cowes service has been out of action since the end of August when a major fault with one of the engines was found.

Its return had already been pushed back until mid November, but a further delay is now expected.

Speaking after the corporate scrutiny committee on Tuesday, Cllr Phil Jordan, cabinet member for infrastructure and transport said there was a new fault with the chain link ferry, which 'came as a bit of a shock'.

He said: "Both of the shafts that sit on the drive have gone. We are not aware of the extent of it, whether they are repairable or if they have to be replaced but they are specialist parts, they are not off the shelf."

Cowes floating bridge Credit: ITV News Meridian

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, which provided the funding for Floating Bridge 6, has requested an independent government review be undertaken to determine whether the bridge is fit for purpose.

It has requested the investigation, which could cost between £10,000 and £15,000, be completed by December.

The council says it remains in close contact with its specialist contractors and will provide a further update in due course.