Logo Wagenborg

Good discussions between Wagenborg and all the parties in The Hague

10 July 2023

Last week, an important meeting took place in The Hague about the channel and the ferry service which was attended by all parties involved: State Secretary Heijnen, Minister Harbers (both still in function at the time), King’s Commissioner Brok, Mayor Stoel of Ameland, Mayor Van Gent of Schiermonnikoog, Wagenborg Passagiersdiensten, Department of Public Works, travellers’ organisation Rover, the consumer platform Waddenveren Oost and enterprise platform Ameland.

It was good and constructive meeting. All those present agreed that safety and reliability are of primary important for the ferry service. Solutions are being looked at from various angles. There is also a lot of research being done; we are expecting the first results later this month. Wagenborg Passagiersdiensten is pleased about this constructive meeting and the positive outcomes it resulted in. It is good news that all parties agree on the principles for the next steps towards a safe future.

Important outcomes: 

  • All parties want a solution that enables passengers to make use of a ferry service that is safe and reliable.
  • MARIN’s follow-up investigation is still ongoing. We expect the draft report to come out on 28 July.
  • Wagenborg and the Department of Public Works have asked MARIN to submit the sub-questions as soon as possible, so that any relaxation of measures can take place before the end of the six-week term. However, safety remains a priority.
  • Wagenborg is drafting a proposal in collaboration with the Municipality of Ameland to expand the current emergency regulation, enabling islanders who need to travel to or from the island for urgent reasons to board any sailing, if necessary with their own car.
  • Wagenborg will map out the advantages and disadvantages of a 45-minute timetable and discuss the results with the parties involved.
  • The Department of Public Works is investigating whether a shorter crossing between Holwert and Ameland is an option. This variant looks promising. This investigation is expected to take 8 weeks.
  • Wagenborg wants to submit a proposal for a timetable at the end of July that will come into effect on 8 August.
  • It has been agreed that reservations for foot passengers will be discussed again after the current summer period. For Wagenborg, a reservation system has many advantages, because it makes it easier to plan the deployment of the ferries. However, we have also listened carefully to the objections to that idea. In any case, this topic is not up for discussion now.

As soon as there are new developments, we will publish the news on our website.