A YEAR after it started, the legal case behind the troubled Floating Bridge 6 is still ongoing and is not moving as fast as the Isle of Wight Council wants it to.

A report setting out the possible future of the vessel will go to before the council next month.

With the latest problem on the Cowes to East Cowes crossing taking the service out for up to four weeks, leader of the council Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox has spoken of her frustration with the legal action's slow pace.

The action is being pursued against the naval architect and builders of the Floating Bridge 6 and was announced by the previous Conservative administration last year.

Problems, however, including a Covid related delay, have delayed the legal action and ultimately meant the authority has not yet seen a resolution.

Speaking after the corporate scrutiny committee last night (Tuesday), Cllr Peacey-Wilcox said the Alliance administration now knew where things stood legally and, following a report coming to cabinet in October, can take action.

She said: "We are forcing the legal case to move at a faster pace than it has been as we think it has taken far too long.

"Hopefully when that is sorted out we will be able to give people the update they need."

The report coming to cabinet focuses on the next steps for Floating Bridge 6, which has been plagued with problems since it first came into service four years ago.

It sets out the case for commissioning an independent review to determine whether the current vessel is fit for purpose.

The report also wants cabinet approval to carry out essential redesign and reconfiguration works to ensure a more reliable service.

It also recognises it would take four to six years to bring an alternative vessel into service.

Cllr Peacey-Wilcox said the latest fault that has been identified was a new one and it is unfortunate the work is happening.

She said: "It is the bridge that just keeps on giving and does not help us at all."

Yesterday, the council announced a serious fault with one of the main engines has been found and it has been advised to replace the drive motor.

A foot passenger service will be in place while the problem is fixed.

East Cowes town councillor, Cameron Palin, however, said the arrangement would cause major logistic issues with Isle of Wight Festival goers who use water taxis to get to the site.

He said: "The problem is the last administration. These issues were not dealt with properly and it has now got to a position where another issue has arisen.

"The council is in a difficult position. They want to run the service but things take time and residents have been waiting since 2017 for a frequent and reliable service."

Cllr Palin said the administration is listening to the concerns, especially as Cllr Peacey-Wilcox is ward representative of Cowes Medina, so is well aware of residents' issues.