THE DUCHY’S innovative Park and Float scheme in Falmouth opened its doors last week to help keep over 18,500 cars a year out of the town centre.
The Park and Float carries visitors and locals alike in classic wooden boats from a 460-space car park at Ponsharden on the outskirts of Falmouth, to Customs House Quay in the town which is adjacent to Trago Mills and only a five minute walk from the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
Since opening, the service has carried over 250,000 passengers and kept 70,000 cars from clogging up the town centre. The park and ride service operated by Truonian runs a regular bus service into the town.
Operations manager Garrick Royle said: “Each year the Park and Float becomes more popular. Between them the Park and Float ferries, which now offer cover in the unlikely event that it should rain, have covered over 40,000 miles – that’s equivalent to travelling from Land’s End to John O’ Groats and back 20 times. And one of boats, The Black Swan has carried over one million passengers since she was built.
“By preventing 18,500 cars from entering Falmouth, we in turn save over 22 tons of carbon dioxide and seven tons of carbon pollution from entering the town centre Most importantly the users can enjoy a hassle free way of arriving in the town and be a part of the solution to Falmouth's congestion and pollution, not part of the problem,” Garrick added.
The Park and Float was set up in 2001 by Cornwall County Council, the Regional Development Agency and Cornwall Ferries Ltd to help alleviate Falmouth’s town centre parking problems. Classic wooden ferries, originally from the Scillies, were renovated for the service which is open until September 31st and runs from Monday to Friday from 10am until 5.40pm. The site is open 7 days offering only a park and ride option at weekends. There is also a slipway which can be used by the public although launch and parking fees apply.
Passengers can not only use the Park and Float to visit Falmouth’s shops and cafes, but also get the added benefit of discounted entry to the Maritime Museum. They could also upgrade to a Park and Float/St Mawes Cruise ticket which enables them to travel by boat along the Penryn River to Falmouth, then onto the stunning fishing village of St Mawes.
The service is subsidised by Cornwall County Council as a way of improving the visitor experience to Falmouth whilst at the same time reducing congestion and pollution. The site will play an important role in the future of Falmouth’s traffic management particularly during the Tall Ships event in Sept and in the longer term when the Church Street Car park is turned into a car free open space for the benefit of visitors and locals.
For more information on the service, call 01326 319417