The ongoing fiasco with the floating bridge shows the difference between public and private sector business in regards to realism and accountability.

With the recent Freedom of Information request revealing costs to October 2020 of £7.7 million on a craft which cost £3.2 million in 2016, plus losses of £1.1 million over the past two years, this would be totally unacceptable and unviable to a normal business.

These losses are even more painful when the previous craft made a profit of up to £250,000 per year.

I worked on large supply and support engineering contracts, with ten years in offshore oil followed by over 25 years in the defence field.

The key to providing effective support in such businesses is to hold critical spares to ensure equipment remains operational.

Following the floating bridge 12-week downtime under repair between July and October, to then be followed by two further breakdowns within very short periods in November, the problem was identified as key hydraulic components.

The craft has four hydraulic rams at each of the corners, which on failure are taken away piecemeal for examination and repair. Surely, it would make sense to carry a spare ram to change quickly and keep the craft operational?

The present system appears reactive to every breakdown, rather than proactive to any potential problem.

There are some proud to state grand titles but there comes a time when they have to take responsibility, provide service and manage resolution to a failing craft.

Perhaps that is the difference between public and private ventures, where a professional approach is essential and some form of accountability would be surely swift if such failures and losses continued?

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