PLANS are being developed to replace Windermere’s car ferry with a brand-new electric model.

Cumbria County Council’s Windermere Ferry Service is developing plans to replace the current car ferry, the ‘Mallard’ with a new electric ferry.

The Mallard vessel is more than 30 years old, having first been introduced in 1991, and the age of the ferry has led to reduced reliability and increased repair costs in recent years.

The council intends to replace the Mallard with a new electric car ferry, with increased vehicle capacity to provide an improved service with reduced emissions.  Like the Mallard, the new ferry will be a cable ferry that pulls herself across the lake on two wire cables.

The first phase of the project involved investigating the feasibility and options for the new car ferry service. 

The next phase - now underway - is to prepare the specification for the design and build of the new ferry.

The procurement process will see shipyards across the country invited to submit their ideas and designs for the new ferry before a formal tendering process takes place. The aim is to place an order with the successful shipyard in the autumn for delivery of the new ferry in spring 2024.

Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “I am delighted to see the next phase of the plans to replace the Windermere Ferry taking shape. The brand-new electric vessel will be much more reliable, with an improved service for users, carrying more vehicles and passengers, whilst reducing emissions.

“There has been a ferry service across Lake Windermere since the 17th century, and I am looking forward to seeing what the next chapter of this important route has in store. My thanks to all involved in the project.”