Wednesday, January 15, 2014

La Gomera's institutions close ranks on ferry issue

Several politicians and representatives from La Gomera, among them the island's president C. Curbelo and the mayors of Alajero and Valle Gran Rey, held a meeting on Tenerife on Monday to discuss ways to reinstate the ferry service between the ports of Valle Gran Rey, Playa de Santiago and San Sebastian on La Gomera and Los Cristianos on Tenerife. This so-called 'interior line' ceased operations just a year ago despite having been declared an 'obligatory public service' by the Canarian government some years previously.
The ferry route had been operated by three different companies over the years and attracted 150.000 passengers per year on average. The meeting discussed several options and proposals and even an increase of subsidies for residents was suggested to make the service more viable and competitive. 
A few days before this meeting La Gomera's president had demanded that any new company covering the badly missed service should be exempt from paying harbour dues for the initial phase of operating the connection. Apparently  there is one company in particular very interested in serving the route with complete applications submitted already.
It is worth remembering that by ferry  it just takes about 30 minutes to travel from Valle Gran Rey to the capital San Sebastian, while the public bus needs about 110 minutes to get there. The route by sea would also reduce the amount of traffic that has to pass through the centre of the national park now.
UPDATE: The director of the department of transport of the Canarian government has since stated on radio that the department is actively 'looking for a solution which will facilitate companies wishing to operate the route by reducing the costs for same'.
Let's hope they are successful    Photo: ©

No comments :