Cowes Floating Bridge

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: Are there any concessions available for disabled drivers?

Answer: There are no longer any concessions available - if you are still in possession of any red vouchers, you can still use them but they will no longer be available to purchase.

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Question: What are the operating times of the Cowes chain ferry

Answer: Mondays to Saturdays 0500 - 0030

Sundays 0640 - 0030

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Question: Can I buy a single passenger ticket rather than a return?

Answer: No - only return tickets can be purchased

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Question: If I buy a return ticket from East Cowes but get a lift home can I use the second part of the return journey on a future occasion to travel from East Cowes again?

Answer: Yes

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Question: If I show my concessionary bus pass will I still have to pay the return fare?

Answer: Yes - free travel is only available to under 19 year olds.

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Question: Do I have to use both parts of the return journey on the same day?

Answer: No - your return ticket is valid for 7 days; however please do not lose your receipt as failure to produce this will result in the standard fee being payable

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Question: What is the current cost of using the floating bridge?

Answer: Car, van, tractor, motorcycle and sidecar, caravan, trailer (additional) £2.20
Book of 20 vouchers for the above £39.60

Lorry £7.50
Book of 20 vouchers for the above £136.80

Motorcycle £1.30
Book of 20 vouchers for the above £23.50

Large vans, minibuses and pick-ups £3
Book of 20 vouchers for the above £54

Extra late night ferry £38

Foot passengers and cyclists
- £1.00 for a return journey if paying by cash through the fixed ticket machines located at Cowes and East Cowes
- £0.70 for a return journey if paying with a Saver Card which has been registered through the website

Saver Cards - £2.00 (initial purchase cost)


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Question: Can I have a receipt for my vehicle payment for my records?

Answer: Yes, although these are only issued at the initial point of sale

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Question: How much is a saver card?

Answer: The initial purchase cost of a Saver Card is £2.00

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Question: Can I have a receipt for my foot passenger payment for my records?

Answer: Receipts are issued by the fixed ticket machines but can only be obtained when you purchase you ticket. Also when you have completed your return journey you can retain the ticket for your records.

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Question: How do I top up my Saver Card?

Answer: You can do this either online or at the fixed ticket machines situated at Cowes and East Cowes. If topping up at the fixed ticket machines you can do this either by cash or credit/debit card.

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Question: Do people with disabilities have to pay when using the floating bridge as foot passengers?

Answer: Free travel is available for any disabled users (residents and visitors) that have an English National Concessionary Travel Scheme card; under this scheme a disabled person is as defined in section 146 of the Transport Act 2000, being any person who:
• Is blind or partially sighted
• Is profoundly or severely deaf
• Is without speech
• Has a disability, or who have suffered injury, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to walk
• Does not have arms or has long-term loss of use of both arms
• Has a learning disability, that is, a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning
• Would, if they applied for the grant of a licence to drive a motor vehicle under part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988; have their application refused pursuant to section 92 of that Act otherwise on the ground of persistent misuse of drugs and alcohol

Free travel is also available for holders of new Islander Cards which are currently issued to island residents with severe and enduring mental health problems and this includes free travel for the travelling companions of the person that has the disability.


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Question: Is there a limit that I can top up my Saver Card?

Answer: The maximum amount of credit that can be purchased for a Saver Card is £125. Saver Cards can be topped up online with any amount between £5 and £125; however if you obtain a top up voucher at one of the fixed ticket machines then you will need to select one of the pre-determined amounts which are currently £10, £20 and £30.

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Question: Why was my credit/debit card declined when trying to add 'top up' credit?

Answer: This can happen even though there may be sufficient funds in your account, or that the card works on other websites, or even if the card has previously been used to purchase top-up credit. In such cases, the card issuer has usually chosen not to approve this particular transaction based on their own fraud protection/security policies.

Unfortunately, we have no control over whether cards are declined or not; it should be noted that once a credit/debit card has been declined the card issuer may continue to block it’s use.

In such cases, the only course of action (that will allow your card to be used on the Floating Bridge website) will be to get in touch with your card issuer and ask them to unblock/allow your top-up requests. It’s often helpful to have the date and time and amount that you attempted to top-up with.
Alternatively you can try a different debit/credit card; or, you can use the ticket machines to purchase a top-up voucher – which can be presented with your card when you next travel to add the credit to your card/account.


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Question: Can I still obtain books of floating bridge vehicle tickets?

Answer: No, these have been discontinued. Vehicle drivers can now purchase a Saver Card and this can be used to pay for each crossing - Related Link

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Question: Do I have to have the correct money when paying as either a foot passenger or for a vehicle at the fixed ticket machines?

Answer: The ticket machines at Cowes and East Cowes do not issue change but do however accept overpayment; therefore it would be beneficial to have the correct money.



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Question: How do I buy a foot passenger ticket?

Answer: Fixed ticket machines have been installed at Cowes and East Cowes; you can pay by cash through these machines although the higher charge will be applicable. You will be issued with a ticket which will need to be scanned by the toll collector on both your outward and return trip.

If you have purchased a Saver Card you can swipe your card at one of the fixed ticket machines to benefit from the lower charge. As with cash payments through the machines you will be issued with a ticket which will need to be scanned by the toll collector on both your outward and return trip.

Toll collectors are currently deployed at both Cowes and East Cowes and are equipped with handheld tickets machines and printers; however, new self scan terminals will be available on the new bridge within the next couple of months

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Question: As regular foot passenger I would like to purchase a 'Saver card' to obtain a discount on my journeys - how do I do this?

Answer: Saver cards are available to purchase from the following locations: SpyVelo, Medina Road, Cowes and Halls Convenience Store, Ferry Road, East Cowes

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Question: Can I use a Saver Card to pay for my vehicle on the bridge?

Answer: Saver Cards can now be used for foot passengers and all categories of vehicles eligible to use the floating bridge. As with foot passengers a two tier pricing system will be introduced for vehicles, and Saver Card holders will benefit from discounted rates.

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Question: Once I have my Saver Card can I use it straight away?

Answer: Once you have purchased your Saver Card you will then need to register it online at www.iwfloatingbridge.co.uk to be able to benefit form the lower 'regular user' rate. Once your card has been registered you will need to add credit to it; you can do this either online or at the fixed ticket machines situated at Cowes and East Cowes.

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Question: If you travel on the floating bridge what is the benefit of purchasing a Saver Card?

Answer: If you travel on the floating bridge with any degree of regularity you can obtain a Saver Card which will entitle you to pay the lower 'regular user' rate as opposed to the casual 'pay as you go' rate; this applies to both foot passengers and vehicles. Whilst the Saver Card initially costs £2.00 to purchase you will recover this and quickly make savings.

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