Windermere ferry reopens six months after fire

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image captionThe ferry reopened on Saturday

A car ferry across Windermere is back in business almost six months after a fire put it out of action.

The Mallard, which links the east and west coasts of England's largest lake, has had a new engine fitted.

More than 80 people had to be evacuated from the ferry in May when a fire broke out in the engine room and the crossing has been closed ever since.

Commuters and businesses welcomed the re-launch of the ferry on Saturday.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe Mallard has capacity for up to 18 cars and 100 passengers, with a crossing every half hour

While the ferry was closed, motorists had to drive around the 10.5 mile (17km) long lake.

One driver told the BBC he had seen a "very big increase" in his car's use of fuel and mileage since the ferry closed.

"Hopefully this should put everything back to normal for me," he said.

Matt Freeman, owner of The Hatch coffee bar at Far Sawrey, said he had seen his turnover drop while the ferry was closed.

Nick Raymond, of Cumbria County Council, said engineers had "worked tirelessly to get it back as soon as possible".

He said: "Clearly the absence of the boat has been a problem for a lot of people."

The Mallard has capacity for up to 18 cars and 100 passengers, with a crossing every half hour.

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