THE Cowes Floating Bridge, beset by problems since its launch in May, is set to enter the final commissioning phase.
Providing everything goes to plan, the bridge will officially become property of the Isle of Wight Council, much to the dismay of both local protest group Floaty McFloat Farce, and East Cowes councillor, Karl Love. 
Manufacturer, Mainstay Marine, will be on site throughout the week to address any outstanding issues, carry out any additional work as required, and undertake trials and performance testing on the vessel, the Isle of Wight Council said.
As a result, the bridge will be out of service from 8am tomorrow (Tuesday) until 8am on Thursday. 
Angie Booth, Floaty McFloat Farce spokesperson said: "I'm shocked. 
"If they honestly think by Thursday it's all going to be hunky dory, what planet are they living on?"
Cllr Love suggested another three month trial should be carried out and attacked the council for not consulting with local councillors or residents.
"The views of the people of Cowes and East Cowes are an afterthought," he said. 
In a statement, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, Cllr Ian Ward, said: "Once again I would like to thank the community for their patience, as the Cowes Floating Bridge enters this final phase of commissioning.
"We will be working with partners this week, including the harbour commission, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, to ensure we are satisfied all potential issues outstanding have been addressed and it is deemed fit for purpose, in order to officially take ownership of the floating bridge. 
"I have no doubt this service will become as well loved as the previous floating bridge in time.
"We are consulting with partners currently on the wider operation of the floating bridge service, specifically the pedestrian and traffic management at East Cowes, to ensure the service can be used in better manner than any previous floating bridge has done, in that area."
The replacement launch, the Jenny, will run as an alternative for foot passengers until 11pm over this two day period.