AFTER months of repair work, Cowes Floating Bridge has returned to service.

The chain ferry that links Cowes and East Cowes had been off since maintenance work uncovered problems back in July.

Last month (September), the Isle of Wight Council said the chain ferry would return to action for the October half term, following water based testing.

This came after a return to service was delayed due to "the extent of work required" to fix one of its motors.

Read more: Further delay for Floating Bridge — no full service until half term

Isle of Wight County Press:

The council was hopeful of a return on October 17, but after three days of further maintenance work, the beleaguered ferry is finally back in action.

Staff were due to undertake essential safety training yesterday (Monday), with the vessel entering service at 5am this morning.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Among the work undertaken was the removal of the chain ferry's hydraulic rams, which were stripped down, inspected and then rebuilt.

The hydraulic system has been flushed and repairs were made to the hydraulic pumps and motors.

Read more: The mounting costs of the Island's grounded chain ferry

The floating bridge's problems far predate its removal from service back in July. 

In January, it developed a generator fault, in February it was suspended for tests on the spring tide and in March it was suspended for an afternoon to allow for a ‘guide wheel’ to be fixed. 

In its absence, a replacement foot passenger launch covered the route across the River Medina, and in the six months to August, it cost nearly £80,000.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Barrels of hydraulic fluid. One County Press reader said they spotted eight.

Isle of Wight County Press: Isle of Wight County Press: