ON THE east side of the Windermere ferry there are 15 signs instructing passengers to buy tickets at the onshore machines before boarding. On the west side there are six such signs.

There is not one sign telling drivers they can stay in their cars and be sold tickets by a man with a machine who will come to them.

So this 'improvement' announced by Cumbria County Council is clearly no more than a sop to critics and is not intended to change much. If it was then the portable machine would be used on board not onshore.

What it is, though, is an admission that forcing drivers out of their vehicles was a mistake. It has taken ferry managers 14 months to admit what has been obvious to ferry users from day one of the new ticketing scheme.

Now that a glimpse of reality has dawned, dare we hope for the logical conclusion and a return to the way every other floating bridge in the country works – taking fares on board, during the crossing, thus re-instating faster, more frequent sailings, which serve the public interest rather than the county council's convenience?

Alex Brodie

Far Sawrey