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Windermere Car Ferry to resume operations with restricted service

Windermere car ferry

Cumbria County Council has announced they will be restarting the Windermere Car Ferry – The Mallard – from today – Monday 15 June.

The ferry operation was suspended on 25 March because insufficient numbers of operational staff were available to safely run the ferry due to the COVID-19 emergency and the Government messages regarding essential travel only.

Following the easing of lockdown restrictions, the county council believes the Windermere Ferry can now resume operating safely within the Government guidelines on safe working.

Therefore, from Monday 15 June the car ferry will be operating seven days a week with a restricted timetable.

Proposed Timetable Departs Last Journey
Monday to Friday 07:00hrs 11:00hrs
Recommence at 14:30hrs 18:00hrs
Saturday and Sunday 09:00hrs 18:00hrs

The ferry will be running on a restricted timetable in order to allow time for staff to carry out a full cleaning operation on board The Mallard which will help people stay safe.

As part of the resumed service, we will be making Windermere Car Ferry cash-free to maintain social distancing in line with government guidance and ensure paying is safe for customers and staff during the pandemic.

We will no longer be accepting cash payments. Instead customers in vehicles will be asked to pay by contactless card payment through the closed window of any vehicle, thereby protecting the public and staff. Vehicle drivers and any passengers must remain inside their vehicle while the ferry crosses the lake.

Motorcyclists with an open face helmet will be required to either wear a face covering or mask, or close their helmet visor at all times while onboard the ferry. Motorcyclists must remain beside their vehicle throughout the crossing.

Pedestrians and cyclists will be required to use contactless payments at the two newly installed kiosks on each side of the lakeshore. These payments will be made through a glass screen to protect the staff and the public. In addition, pedestrians and cyclists will be required to wear face coverings at all times whilst on the ferry as a condition of travel.

These changes are being introduced in order to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect the health and safety of the travelling public and our staff.

Other measures being brought in to make sure travel is as safe as possible on the Windermere Ferry include:

  • A one-way system in the pedestrian area of The Mallard for staff only
  • Two-metre safe distancing markers on the ferry deck to allow pedestrians to stand safely during the journey across the lake
  • Signs reminding people to keep safe and keep their distance
  • Boarding and disembarkation will be controlled by ferry staff to ensure that social distancing rules are adhered to at all times.

As a result of these additional requirements for loading and unloading, it may not be possible to keep to timetable, however the Ferry Captains will use social media throughout the day to update the public on crossing times. For updates follow @WindermereFerry on Twitter.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m pleased we’re now on a position to safely resume Windermere Ferry operations, albeit with a restricted timetable to protect the public and our staff.

“Although lockdown restrictions are being eased we know we need to maintain social distancing and other measures to limit the spread of the virus.

“As a result we are introducing contactless payments on the ferry, to avoid the need for people to touch our payment machines, and asking people to stay in their vehicles and to cover their faces if they’re on a motorcycle or on foot. Travelling on the Windermere Ferry will be a different experience than before COVID-19 and I’d like to thank people for their patience and understanding.”

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