PRESS RELEASE: Wagenborg Passagiersdiensten forced to implement one-way traffic in new section of channel
The deteriorating waterway to Ameland is increasingly impacting the Wagenborg Passagiersdiensten schedule. Because of the instability and inadequate width between VA7 and VA11, the ferry company is forced to introduce one-way traffic in this new section of the Ameland-Holwerd channel for safety reasons. Making the ferry service and fast ferry service wait on each other will cause additional delays for passengers.
Despite intensive dredging work by the Department of Public Works, the channel continues to deteriorate. For several years now, Wagenborg Passagiersdiensten has followed the strict rule that, for safety reasons, there will be no sailings when the water levels reach 1.80 m – NAP or more. This limit has this year been adjusted to 1.60 m – NAP. “Because the channel does not meet the minimum width of 55 m on the sea floor and the minimum depth of 3.80 m – NAP, sailings are regularly cancelled. In addition, the recently commissioned section between VA7 and VA11 is very unstable and in some places even narrower than 45 m," according to director van Langen.
Van Langen continues: “We know that the dredging company is doing everything in their power to get the channel to the agreed minimum dimensions, but they are indicating that they are unable to get this done at this time with the equipment they have available. The dredging vessels also has to move out of the channel when the ferry passes. This means less dredging and therefore less results.”
As a consequence of the current situation in the channel, Wagenborg Passagiersdiensten has decided that, as of today, at water levels lower than NAP, ships are no longer allowed to pass each other in the part of the channel between VA7 and VA11. The ferry and fast ferry service will then wait on each other at those water levels, which will result in delays. We are in the middle of the autumn holidays and we are operating two vessels and a fast ferry service every day, which means passengers will have to take more frequent delays into account.
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