Home news Car damage claims over £3.2m Cowes 'floating bridge'

Car damage claims over £3.2m Cowes 'floating bridge'

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Twelve people have claimed compensation from Isle of Wight Council over damage to vehicles from the new Cowes floating bridge. The troubled £3.2m vessel was withdrawn from service in September after suffering numerous technical failures.A Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed claims with estimates ranging from £42 to £573 had been submitted to the local authority. The Council said financial offers had been made to all twelve claimants.The FOI request by the BBC, showed the council had received 15 notifications of damage to vehicles between May and August – with 12 people claiming compensation.

It is not clear how much has been offered or if more claims have been submitted since.Floating Bridge No 6 suffered several suspensions and technical failures since it was brought into service in May.Numerous vehicle owners said they scraped their bumpers due to the angle of the ramps on the slipway. Dean and Sian Killick said they had been on honeymoon on the island when they scraped the front of their Peugeot going on and off the ferry in May.Mrs Killick said they were told the impact could have damaged the engine mount.”After that it felt like at any moment it would have packed up on us,” she said.”Nothing was ever resolved, we were sent the wrong documentation. We did everything they asked but there was no resolution, not even an apology,” Mr Killick added.The couple later dropped their claim after the car was written-off in an accident.A replacement ferry currently operates for foot passengers, while vehicles have to take a 12-mile (19km) detour via Newport.Floating bridge timeline:13 May – Vessel launched
14 May – Broke down
15 May – Service suspended by MCA
7 June – Ran aground
9 June – Ran aground for a second time
9 June – Council said it had cleared “silt build up that caused the floating bridge to ground”
10 June – Ran aground a third time
13 June to 3 July – Taken out of service at low tide
30 June – Broke down due to electrical fault
21 July – Withdrawn from service at night due to noise levels
4 September – Withdrawn from service indefinitely

Source: BBC Hampshire