Windermere Ferry users have vented frustration at cancellations of the service which takes people, vehicles, horses and cycles across the lake. 

It links the busy eastern shore of the lake at Bowness to the gateway to areas like Sawrey, Hawkshead and Coniston on the west which has many attractions and walking, riding and cycling facilities.

Mallard is an essential part of local life and a huge attraction for visitors.

On 31 May a Tweet by the Windermere Ferry Service urged users to refrain from venting their frustrations at the ferry crew.

Local residents hit back however saying that while being rude to staff members is unacceptable, something needs to be done about the sudden cancellations and rescheduling.

The admin of the Windermere Ferry Users Facebook group, who was also a naval architect, says he and locals have offered to help with problems but feel they have not been listened to. 

He said: "The boat crew do a great job with the challenges they face however we believe it's the way the operation is managed by the council that is causing the problems. There have been numerous manning issues for many months due to there being a shortfall in the numbers of crew members needed to safely operate so it often gets cancelled.

"The constant rescheduling, lack of communication, cancellations and closing early is causing a lot of frustration.

"I've used the Mallard up to six times a day with school over the past six years and many others will too. The bank holiday weekend was a lot quieter for local businesses because of the disruptions. 

"Myself and others only want to help and feel there is a disconnect with the authority that manages its operation. The crew itself is not to blame as more staff are needed.

"I've offered pro bono technical input but further discussions have fell flat."

A spokesperson for Westmorland and Furness Council said: "Due to operational difficulties over the bank holiday weekend, Windermere Ferry has been running a reduced service. The issues have now been resolved and the ferry will resume normal operational hours.

"We apologise for the inconvenience and recognise the disruption it causes when the ferry does not run as expected. We are working to improve the reliability of the service. 

"As we move into the busy summer months, we ask the public to remain patient, show understanding and treat the crew with the care and respect."