FOOT passengers and cyclists will once again be able to use the Sandbanks Ferry when it resumes service this week.

Those travelling on foot or by bike will be able to use the service from 7am on Wednesday after they were banned in March when the lockdown came into force.

The ferry will be returning to service following its annual maintenance and refit works.

The Sandbanks Ferry Company, which runs the chain ferry service between Poole and Studland, said that following the government announcement that face masks would be compulsory on public transport from June 15, foot passengers and cyclists will be required to wear coverings while on board the ferry.

Passengers will need to provide their own face coverings and anyone not wearing one will not be able to travel.

Motorcyclists will be required to wear their helmet while on board.

Meanwhile, those travelling by car will be unable to leave their vehicles or open windows and convertible cars must keep their roofs up.

The operators also said it had carried out “extensive works” alongside BCP Council to establish “a safe queueing system to support social distancing for these passengers” on the Sandbanks side of the Sandbanks side in North Haven Car Park and also on the Studland side.

The company said BCP Council had provided financial support, facilitated by the Department for Transport Emergency Active Travel Funding, for the cost of the queueing infrastructure.

Additional ferry staff will also be on hand to marshal the queue with employees given personal protective equipment (PPE).

Mike Kean, managing director of the Sandbanks Ferry Company, said: “We would like to thank BCP Council for their assistance in ensuring we can welcome back foot passengers and cyclists. While I know the service suspension has been difficult for many, we want to reassure passengers and our staff that they can again travel and work on the ferry safely.”

Councillor Andy Hadley, BCP Council Portfolio Holder for Transport and infrastructure, said: “We are pleased to have assisted the Sandbanks Ferry Company with measures to allow pedestrian and cycle passengers to queue safely on the Sandbanks side. Ensuring provision is made for sustainable and healthy travel modes, meets key council key aims tackling congestion and climate issues and ensures all passengers are served.”