The Isle of Wight Council is considering charges for foot passengers on the floating bridge.Picture by Laura Holme.
PLANS to charge floating bridge foot passengers, put forward by the Isle of Wight Council as part of next year’s budget, could still be scrapped.
At a packed meeting at East Cowes Town Hall last night (Thursday), the Isle of Wight Council’s deputy leader Cllr Steve Stubbings said the 'jury was still out’ on whether plans to charge 50p per crossing for foot passengers would be introduced.
He invited East Cowes Town Councillors to an urgent meeting at County Hall so they could discuss the plans with Isle of Wight Council officers.
During a presentation on behalf of East Cowes Town Council last night, fears were raised that charges would raise insufficient income to replace the bridge, local businesses would suffer and Newport would face increased traffic congestion.
Pensioners would also be deterred from using the bridge, instead taking free buses to travel between the two towns through Newport.
Cllr Stubbings said: "The jury is still out on this budget. If we find something has gone wrong and the figures officers have provided were not substantial enough to stand up to scrutiny, then we will change it."