Updated statement 1 March 2018
Steve Tatlock, Park Management Team Leader, for the Lake District National Park said:
“We are disappointed that the Bluebird K7 team have chosen Loch Fad in Scotland, over Coniston Water, to launch the long-awaited reconstructed jet hydroplane. This was unexpected news to us, given we were still in conversation with the Bluebird K7 project team and we remain very willing to work with them and had been expecting their operating plans.
“We want to continue working positively with K7 team to get the boat onto Coniston. Bluebird K7 could be launched on Coniston now and run under power up to 10mph; however in order to run at speed we need sight of their operating plans to ensure that it will be run safely, with minimal environmental impacts and that full consideration has been given to managing public interest. We’ve been clear about what we need and once we have these we can move to finalising the approval for Bluebird K7 to run at speed on Coniston Water.
“The National Park Authority facilitated a change to the Coniston Water byelaws to allow the proving trials of Bluebird K7 several years ago. This was made possible with the support of local people and communities and encouragement from others from around the globe.
“We recognise the benefits for the local community and visitors and have been working with South Lakeland District Council and the Coniston Bluebird Festival Group to support and identify event management requirements, including safety and environmental operations, to allow the Bluebird K7 project to successfully plan and run the event.
“Power-boating and the desire to set new records has been a part of the cultural history of the Lake District for nearly 100 years and we are also currently reviewing an exemption to the byelaws by the Vector Project to break the electric world speed record on Coniston Water later this year.
“The efforts of the Bluebird K7 group to recover Bluebird and her pilot Donald Campbell was the start of a long journey which will hopefully end with Bluebird resting in Coniston just a stone’s throw from where Donald Campbell already rests.
“We remain committed to supporting this ambition and hope to see Bluebird K7 return on Coniston Water in the future.”