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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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Trial to extend Windermere waterbus service set to start

A TRIAL to extend a waterbus service on Windermere is set to start.

From July 26, Windermere Lake Cruises will include additional stops in the lake’s northern basin between Bowness Bay and Waterhead at Ambleside, and in the southern basin from Lakeside.

The trial has been given the nod after an independent study showed a “high proportion of visitors” would be interested in using waterbus services to locations and attractions around the lake.

The study was funded by the Lake District National Park Authority and the Northwest Regional Development Agency as part of the Windermere Waterfront Programme.

Many people and partner organisations also agreed that waterbuses would help the national park with its attempts to reduce the car traffic and develop more sustainable transport facilities in the Lakes.

LDNPA planner, Ben Long, said the results of the survey were encouraging.

He said: “We see the development of waterbus services as an important part in promoting sustainable transport alternatives around the lake, providing access to key attractions, as well as enhancing the overall visitor experience of this wonderful landscape setting.”

Councillor David Earnshaw, the Cumbria County Council representative for the Lakes ward, said in his election pledge in June he wanted to improve traffic flow in and out of the Lakes and find solutions to traffic tailbacks.

He therefore backed the trial in principle, but said it would have to be well publicised in order for it to prove a success in clearing the roads.

Cllr Earnshaw, a Liberal Democrat, also said it would be useful if the waterbus service could be complemented by improved travel information for journeys beyond the stop-off points.

He said: “In principle it is an excellent idea. But there needs to be a good deal of publicity as to where the service will connect to.”

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