A MAJOR fault has been found on the floating bridge — delaying its return to service.

There is no indication on when it will return, although a further update will be issued by the end of the week.

The Floating Bridge was taken out of service in July for scheduled maintenance, which had been delayed to provide an essential link to mainland ferry services during the height of the Covid pandemic.

A council spokesperson said today: "Unfortunately while undergoing tests prior to returning to service, a major fault with the hydraulic system has been identified.

"The shipbuilders and their approved contractors have investigated this and advised the council that the vessel cannot currently return to service as originally planned.

"Once the system fault and the required replacement parts have been identified, the aim will be to return the service as quickly and safely as possible.

"A further update on the likely timescales for the return of the service will be issued by the end of the week.

"The Isle of Wight Council apologises for any inconvenience caused by this ongoing disruption to the service."

The launch service for foot passengers will continue to operate from 5am to 11pm (6.30am to 11pm Sundays).