Support secured for independent investigation into loss of Windermere Ferry service

A leading South Lakes councillor has secured cross-party support for an independent investigation into the events surrounding the loss of the Windermere Ferry service which has been out of action since May following an engine fire.

Councillor James Airey used today’s (26 September) meeting of the council’s South Lakeland Local Committee to propose that the local authority sanction an arms-length review of its management of the ferry service to prevent similar problems occurring in the future.

The proposal was agreed unanimously, and the council’s ruling Cabinet will now be asked to approve the creation of an investigation.

Figures published by the county council show that the loss of the Lake Windermere service has already cost the local authority £320,000 in lost income and insurance excess.

The Ferry service, which can transport up to 800 cars a day and has been out of action since May, is not due resume until October.

Councillor James Airey said: “The council has a duty to hold the mirror up to itself and learn the right lessons from this year’s lost summer . As well as the unacceptable impact on communities and businesses, the cost to council taxpayers from lost revenue and insurance costs is already more than three hundred thousand pounds.

“The council has said it will ensure better fire safety systems are onboard alongside other improvements when the service resumes.

“That is a welcome step in the right direction but what the public and local businesses need is assurance that all the relevant lessons have been learned and that the fiasco we have seen this summer will never be allowed to happen again.

“That is why an independent investigation is needed and why I now hope Cabinet members will approve one.”