Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a 'concession tag?'
A. A multiple-journey ticket which allows frequent users to cross the River at discounted rates.
Q. Where can I purchase a concession tag?
A. On the Ferry (cash or cheque only).
Q. How does the tag system work?
A. In a similar way to a bar-code scanner at a supermarket checkout. Each tag has a radio-frequency identification (RFID) data card laminated within it. One 'journey' will be deducted each time a customer crosses the River.
Q. How will I know when my credit is low?
A. The Ferry crew will let you know when your credit drops to five journeys. You can ask the crew about remaining journeys at any time.
Q. Do tickets have an expiry date?
A. No. Each card remains valid until there are no journeys remaining.
Q. What if I no longer need to use my ticket and I have journeys in credit?
A. Unused journeys on the tag cannot be refunded.
Q. What if I lose my ticket?
A. Once sold, it is the customer's responsibility to ensure its safe keeping. No replacements or refunds will be made. This includes receipts for tag purchases.
Q. Why do cars often leave the Ferry in a different sequence to how they boarded?
A. This is necessary to allow vehicles to embark and disembark simultaneously - which is more efficient and greatly enhances turn-around times. The loading of the Ferry also takes into account that large vehicles can only be accommodated in the two centre lanes.
Q. The upper weight limit for vehicles using the ferry is stated as 18-tonnes 'maximum authorised mass'. What does this mean?
A. The term maximum authorised mass (MAM) is the maximum weight of a vehicle including the maximum load that can be carried safely while used on the road. This is also known as gross vehicle weight (GVW) or permissible maximum weight. It will be listed in the owner's manual and is normally shown on a plate or sticker fitted to the vehicle. This should not be confused with the unladen weight of the vehicle, which is the vehicle's own weight, when not carrying any goods or burden. Even if a vehicle physically weighs less than 16 tonnes, it will not be allowed on to the Ferry if its MAM exceeds the weight limit.
Q. Can triple-axle coaches use the Ferry?
A. Definitely not. These vehicles are usually overweight and experience has shown that damage can occur to the rear of the vehicle during loading and unloading.
Q. I have a ticket for the Lower Ferry; can it be used on the Higher Ferry?
A. No. The ferries are owned and operated separately; tickets are not interchangeable.
Q. Are any vehicles allowed priority boarding?
A. Only vehicles belonging to the Emergency Services are given priority.
Q. I noticed that an ambulance with a flashing blue light drove on to the Ferry recently, yet the Ferry did not leave immediately.
A. Behind the scenes, there is a very efficient system of communications between the ferry crew and the Emergency Services. Once a 'blue light' vehicle boards the Ferry, it will leave immediately if the situation warrants it.
Q. Why do the traffic lights in Coombe Road sometimes revert to 'red' when vehicles are in the process of boarding.
A. The sequencing of the traffic signals is determined by the highway authority (Devon County Council). However, traffic waiting to board the Ferry is monitored by CCTV - and the Ferry will wait until all vehicles are loaded before leaving.