In News by Bembridge PC

Access to and from the Cowes floating bridge will be made both easier and safer for pedestrians, thanks to new highway works due to start later this month.

Island Roads were instructed by the Isle of Wight Council to design a scheme that would include features on both sides of the Medina river to improve pedestrian safety around this important link in the Island’s transport network.

The work is scheduled to start after the Isle of Wight Festival and be completed by the summer school holidays.

In Ferry Road, East Cowes, a new ‘build out’ will be constructed removing the current offside lane.

Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, explained: “The current arrangement on-site is both confusing for HGV drivers and detrimental to road safety due to large vehicles getting stuck at the junction and the resulting manoeuvres/footway overrun that occurs.

“The proposed scheme should improve lane discipline and is designed to create a more suitable swept path for HGVs needing to enter Castle Street and reduce the risk of them over-running the pavement.”

The new area will include a seat and litter bin as well as two ticket machines for the floating bridge, placing them on the most direct route to the foot passenger waiting area.

Members of East Cowes Town Council have also been asked whether they would like to enhance this new public realm area.

Meanwhile, in Medina Road, Cowes, the road will be narrowed and the pavement extended out to provide more space for people to wait for the bridge.

The area will include railings to segregate foot passengers waiting to board the floating bridge and those who have disembarked.

There will also be a new crossing point for pedestrians.

It is anticipated the floating bridge will operate as normal throughout the works, although foot passengers and motorists will be expected to exercise caution when in the vicinity of the works.

Dave Marsh, design manager for Island Roads, said: “We look forward to commencing work on this scheme and bringing about these vital improvements for both motorists and pedestrians in the area.”