To me this current problem with the floating bridge is obvious. The prows are simply too heavy and should have been made in high-strength lightweight aluminium.

This would have halved the weight making hydraulic operation much easier.

I believe this bridge was not designed for us but merely a copy of the only other bridge this design and build company have produced.

Their first one operated on a non- tidal river and had fixed prows and the one change they had to make was moving prows which they got horrible wrong.

There has been a succession of prow problems such as several new hydraulic rams, new hinges at great cost and time and there have been incidences where the hydraulics have operated on their own.

I am recently retired but have been a regular user of the bridge for 16 years, travelling from home in Cowes to my son’s shop in East Cowes.

I know first hand how vital the bridge is to linking the two towns and the economic effect it has when it’s not working.

I also believe the council see it as some kind of cash cow. This is wrong. When I buy my ticket I expect it to reflect the cost of running the bridge, the cost of maintaining the bridge and the cost of a new one amortised over 30 years.

I do not expect non users of the bridge to contribute to the running of the bridge and they should not expect me to contribute solely, with other users, to other council projects.

The only fair way to do this is ringfence the bridge finances, publish all of the figures and use the extra revenue created, at current costs, to reduce the cost of travel.

If the council need extra revenue, I will gladly donate £10 a year, all they need to do is to get just half the Island to do the same and they will have over half a million to invest in anything they wish.

The long-term ownership of the bridge should also be mentioned.

During the first long lay off of the bridge Bob Seely, our MP, was kind enough to visit all of the shops in East Cowes to ask how the lack of a bridge had affected us financially and during our discussion he told me that the bridge would eventually be taken over by Red Funnel...which is the last thing we need, as prices will only go up.

There are many other issues with the bridge in its day to day operation and I am happy to speak to anyone that will keep bringing this to the attention of the council until they actually do something.

I don’t believe the legal route will get us anywhere, the two firms are closely linked if not the same and legal action will result in them declaring bankruptcy to get off the hook.

The council has a huge task in building any kind of trust with regular users, ring fencing and committing to its long term future whether it’s this bridge or a replacement (yes, please) is a good start.

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