LEGAL action is not being ruled out by the Isle of Wight Council as it tries to sort out problems with the Floating Bridge — or 'Wight Elephant' as some have dubbed it.

And in a report to go before a committee next week the council lays the blame squarely at the feet of the two companies involved in its design and build.

Ever since Floating Bridge 6 was installed on the River Medina in May 2017, it has faced a chequered service history — being pulled out of service for multiple repairs.

The latest suspension of the chain ferry is nearing its seventh week after what started out as scheduled maintenance, supposed to last ten days, quickly became problematic when a major fault was found with the hydraulic system.

A petition started in the last two weeks calls for an independent investigation into the 'failed ferry service' and has more than 2,000 signatures. You can find it here.

Read more: Hundreds sign petition calling for 'independent investigation' over Floating Bridge

Now, the Isle of Wight Council has received legal advice after the numerous performance issues the Floating Bridge has faced.

Isle of Wight County Press:

In a report going to the council's corporate scrutiny committee on Tuesday, September 8, the council said the troubles 'suffered' by the vessel are 'as a result of the failure of the two companies contracted to design and build the Floating Bridge to comply with the council's requirements' as set out in the contracts.

Before any court proceedings can be undertaken, the council has started talks with the builder and designer of the bridge, as set out in the contract's pre-action procedures, in an effort to seek an appropriate remedy.

If the discussions do not conclude with a satisfactory remedy for the losses suffered then it is open to the council to issue court proceedings and seek to set right the matter, including any financial loss.

The council said: "It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage while we seek to find a resolution."

At a meeting of East Cowes Town Council last night, councillors said the Isle of Wight Council should send it back and ask for its money back and get a new one.

An update on the current state of the Floating Bridge is expected to be made before the end of the month (August).

Read more: Floating bridge — still no return date (and no word on the repair bill either)