Robert Cundall, Cowes:

The decision to replace floating bridge #6 gives us the chance to re-think the whole concept of a floating bridge and apply a serious bit of Island innovation. 

The Island is renowned for innovation with hovercraft, seismology, rockets etc so let us keep the ideas coming. 

Just because it has always been done one way doesn't mean it always has to be done that way. Technology has moved on.

The main problem is the tide; both with the rise and fall and more importantly, the river flow.

What we have now is pulling a massive brick of a ferry at right angles to the river flow resulting in the need for significant force to keep it on track and with minimum influence on other river users. 

The ferry needs massive chains to counteract the forces imparted but these need to dropped to enough depth so as not to impede other river users. 

When the river is in full flow the problems escalate. 

Bridge #7, if based on the same chain pulling principle, can be built lighter, smaller and hopefully quicker to transverse across the river but the issues are still relevant as any chain ferry pulled at right angles to river flow will be battling opposing forces.

I therefore suggest we ditch the chains and turn the ferry through 90 degrees so it just needs to stem the tide rather than fight it.

A ferry that has a hydrodynamic efficient shape (boat!) and free from restraints.

Just a low powered motor at each corner. 

Any flow of tide can be used to help the ferry 'crab' across the river - that's better than fighting it!

Let's also ditch the ferry boarding ramps, to simplify its design, by building shore based link spans each side of the river. 

These can either terminate at a substantial river pontoon (similar to the Gosport ferry) or be hydraulically positioned.

The cars need to be stacked north to south, so angled link spans would help.