Friday, September 27, 2013

Travel delays at the ferry port of Los Cristianos

The weekend is once again upon us and that means more people are travelling to and from the western Canary Islands and different ferry schedules from weekdays. All this traffic has to pass through the bottleneck of the port access road in Los Cristianos on Tenerife and the congested port itself. The ferry companies' sailings also often serve two islands during one trip, i.e. stopping over at La Gomera on the way to and from La Palma and El Hierro and that means that travel to all the western islands is affected. When two ferries arrive at the same time in Los Cristanos discharging hundreds of cars and trucks, delays are inevitable. Be warned and expect hold-ups if you need to catch a flight, as taxis and buses often can't get in nor out of the busy port during rush hour. The traffic delays sometimes also upset the ferries' sailing schedules. I've experienced these delays a couple of times this summer and met people who missed connections. The following report and photo was published by Island a couple of days ago:
Port blockage!

"The limitations of the port in Los Cristianos have again been in evidence as heavy weekend ferry traffic at the end of the summer brought the usual chaos and should serve to make the Port Authority and local council rethink the current lay-out.
On several occasions the simultaneous presence in Los Cristianos of the Fred Olsen and Armas ferries serving La Gomera brought massive problems, with cars, buses and container lorries stuck in the bottle-neck at the port exit as they disembarked.  The merging of up to six lanes of exiting traffic at the small roundabout into the single lane on the only road leading out of the port is a nightmare not just for vehicles trying to leave the port but also those heading for the departing ferries.  The complications are particularly serious on Fridays and Sundays, two of the busiest days for traffic to and from La Gomera, but no-one appears willing to provide a solution to the negative image generated by the long queues of vehicles at a virtual standstill for up to half an hour in some cases.  The Port Police do their best to keep the traffic moving but are severely hampered by the narrow exit.  The latest hold-ups have led to calls for the ferry companies to work together to ensure their ships do not arrive at the same time in Los Cristianos."

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