Protest against ‘poor ferry service’
A protest march leading to the transport ministry offices is scheduled to take place on Friday.
“The transport ministry is not doing enough to solve the problem with unstable ferry connections,” said Maud Wang Hansen and Vígdis Bjarnadóttir, who have organised the protest march from the Bursatangi landing quay to the government building in Tinganes.
“It’s only fair that we demand that the outlying islands receive proper and reliable transport services.”
For several weeks, Strandfaraskip Landsins (the national transport company) has had to reorganise the ferry schedule to the outlying islands due to drawn-out repair works on one of the ferries, ‘Ternan’.
As a consequence of this, the ferry service to Nólsoy is now being operated by ‘Sildberin’ and the service to Skúvoy by ‘Súlan’. ‘Sam’ does a few weekly cargo trips to Nólsoy, but none of these services are adequate, according to the locals, who say these ferries are not only small but also “desperately out-of-date”.
“We’ve managed to create a pretty decent tourism industry in Nólsoy, and we know that many tourists have now cancelled their trips to the island due to the unreliable ferry services,” said the two organisers, who both live in Nólsoy.
This disruption is not only affecting businesses in the smaller islands; it is also a nightmare for commuters, they said, adding that Nólsoy locals are starting to worry that some of the people who were planning to buy houses on the island are now reconsidering their plans because of the poor ferry services.
The protest organisers’ main demands are that Strandfaraskip Landsins are given a higher political prioritisation, that a suitable replacement ferry is provided and that efforts to renew the fleet of “outdated” ferries are taken more seriously.
Henrik Old, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Labour, said yesterday that he is expecting to receive details about a possible replacement ferry for the Tórshavn-Nólsoy service today or tomorrow.
Translated by prosa.fo.