THE Cowes floating bridge will remain out of action until the end of next week.

It has been out of service since September 10, due to a mechanical problem with the west prow hinge — the same problem that has caused the floating bridge to be taken out of service previously.

The Isle of Wight Council said today (Friday) the extended delay would enable further repairs to be carried out.

In addition to the current works to repair the prow and hinge mechanism on the Cowes prow side, the council said it would take the opportunity, while the vessel was out of the water, to replace the prow and hinge mechanism on the East Cowes side too.

A spokesperson said: "This will not only address the current problem but also minimise the likelihood of having to take the vessel out of service, should a similar problem arise during the St Mary’s Roundabout road works.

"The council recognises the value and option the floating bridge will provide during the proposed St Mary’s works to help mitigate disruption and provide an alternative to commuters and other road users in the Cowes and East Cowes area, as well as supporting the economy of those communities.

"Both prows will be tested and it is expected the vessel will be back in full service by September 30.

"The foot passenger launch will remain in place in the meantime, offering a shuttle service for pedestrians between 5am to 11pm daily."

The St Mary's Roundabout works are due to start on September 30.

UPDATE: East Cowes Cllr Karl Love has shared these pictures of a crane at Ferry Road as the floating bridge repairs are carried out. He has advised drivers to watch out for traffic in the area.

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