THE Cowes Floating Bridge is set to be out of action for nearly seven weeks to enable a five-yearly full safety inspection in March.

The inspection, carried out by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, is a legal requirement for all passenger ferries.

This will see the Floating Bridge out of action between Monday, March 7 and Friday, April 22, 2022.

The works will involve preparation with the vessel berthed at Wight Shipyard in East Cowes, followed by a trip to a dry dock facility in Falmouth.

The passenger launch will be available throughout the period when the vessel is not in service.

Cllr Phil Jordan said: “We knew this inspection was going to be needed, and to comply with the regulations it cannot be delayed any further.

“I am disappointed this will mean another break in service for Floating Bridge 6, but I can confirm this planned downtime is nothing to do with the existing issues we have been experiencing on the vessel.

“We will also take advantage of this chance to do some other routine works to the Floating Bridge, such as repainting, works to electrical systems and an update to the on-board CCTV.

“This will not extend the time of the inspection, but it will mean the vessel will not need to come out service for these works at other times in the future.