Foot passengers using the Isle of Wight’s Floating Bridge will be charged £1 for a return crossing from 1 June, but a discount will be applied to those who have a new ‘saver card’.

cowes chain ferry floating bridge pay machinesThere will also be a charge for people who hold a bus pass. All foot passengers aged over 18 will be charged £1 to use the chain ferry that links Cowes and East Cowes. However, as Isle of Wight Radio reported last year, the original proposal was to charge pedestrians a top return price of 70p, with a reduction to 40p when saver cards were introduced. The profit-making service turned over an “assumed” £100,000 during 2015/16, according to the Isle of Wight Council. By April 2016, turnover had reached an “assumed” £120,710.64. Staff costs total £74,268.15, leaving a profit of £46,442.49. The authority says:

“It is…anticipated that staff costs will reduce upon the introduction of integrated ticketing solution.”

East Cowes Floating Bridge Chain Ferry Protest
Protesters opposed to the fares for pedestrians, in 2015.
Passengers holding a new pre-loaded ‘saver card’, similar to London’s Oyster Card, will receive a 30% discount on each return trip. Saver Cards will be available from 18 May and will cost an initial £2 to buy. They will also need to be registered online. Vehicle fares will not change, however there are plans to introduce a saver card for vehicles that will reduce the crossing price. lucymorgan