THE operators of Sandbanks Ferry are warning drivers not to push in when queuing following an increasing number of complaints.

Customers of the chain ferry have been told staff will not be getting involved in disputes between drivers after receiving “threats and abuse” from angry motorists.

In a post on social media, the company said it could not control drivers’ behaviour and any altercation was a matter for the police.

In the past, the ferry employed a security firm, “at considerable cost”, to control traffic but had to stop following advice from both the police and Poole council.

“Here is our problem, we cannot marshal traffic off of the slipway on the Poole side,” the company wrote on Facebook. “We have no authority over the traffic on the highway, or how drivers behave.

“Following threats and abuse from drivers, both from ‘pushers in’ and from those affected, we have advised our staff that they should not involve themselves in disputes.

“If any driver has a problem with someone pushing in, they could approach the driver themselves, or if the driver is abusive, call the police – but our staff will not get involved for their own safety.”

The company added staff were “working their hardest” during the busy summer season and “do an excellent job getting traffic on and off the ferry as quickly and smoothly as possible”.

A resident who lives near the ferry crossing told the Daily Echo he witnessed a lot of drivers “getting angry and pushing in”, especially on weekends and bank holidays.

“I’ve seen a few arguments and the odd punch-up. Drivers get very angry, there will be horns going off.

“Bus drivers get angry because people push in and park in the yellow box, and then there are queues behind the bus,” he added.

Staff of the Haven Ferry café said they had also seen anger and confusion from queueing drivers.

People stopping in the yellow box junction also cause issues, particularly for bus drivers trying to access the bus stop, they said.

Nick Purchase, of Sandbanks Ferry, said drivers queue jumping was an annual problem.

“It’s the same every year – during the school holidays, people get hot and bothered in their cars and tempers rise.

“People’s attitudes have changed, though. They’re more heated and more volatile now. Staff have been driven at before.

“We’re asking people not to push in the queue - we’re trying to get people across as quickly as possible.”