Gozitan Employees in Malta express concern over Gozo ferry service
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The Association for Gozitan Employees in Malta – an Association for Gozitan workers which was set up last year, has also expressed its concern over the Gozo Channel ferry service.
In a statement it said that, “the needs of the present have to be dealt with immediately. Permanent links will not be installed in the coming weeks and we are requesting the relevant authorities to treat short-term exigencies as a high priority.”
“Technical faults happen,” the Association said, “and are understandable since the current Gozo Channel fleet is around 18 years old and in the last couple of years, the vessels were regularly called for maintenance and repair.”
However, the Association pointed out that, “their ageing is a constant strain on those who depend on Gozo Channel to make a living, be it employees, self-employed or businesses.”
“Commercial activity in Gozo is improving thanks to economic progress, however the current structures and operations are not coping with the increased demand jeopardising the sustainability of progress,” the Association said.
It noted that although the Government had been working on the fast ferry option over the last months, this process has now been delayed. Authorities should prioritise the resolution of this matter to avoid further delays in the commencement of operations, the Association said.
It also requested constant updates regarding the introduction of the 4th vessel to the current fleet, and said that until it is in service, the current 3 vessels should operate simultaneously and daily.
Travelling between Gozo and Malta is turning into “a hectic and long journey” with the current schedule, the Association said, “with traffic jams in Mgarr and Cirkewwa becoming the norm rather than the exception. Parking spots in these areas are also increasingly being exhausted.”
It concluded by saying that, “the living and economy of an island of around 31,000 citizens depends strongly on accessibility to the mainland.”
Photograph by Alain Salvary