Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Cowes 'floating bridge' journeys to be slower

Cowes floating bridge Image copyright David Dixon
Image caption The "floating bridge" at Cowes has been in operation since 1859

Passengers using a chain ferry on the Isle of Wight have been warned crossing times will be longer because of new safety measures.

Vehicles and pedestrians will now embark and disembark the Cowes ferry separately following Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) guidance.

Isle of Wight Council said its new procedures were in response to a resident's complaint.

Councillor Shirley Smart said it would "initially result in a slower service".

Originally passengers and vehicles boarded or disembarked the so called "floating bridge" at the same time.

Ms Smart, who is the executive member for economy and tourism, said the council already had measures in place to control how passengers and vehicles left or embarked the chain ferry "in a safe manner".

However, it was "responding" to the MCA's recommendations "following this complaint".

She added: "This may initially result in a slower service while the measures are introduced and our customers get used to the changes."

The service has been in operation since 1859.

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