Gozo Business Chamber President Joseph Borg does not believe adding a fourth ferry to the service connecting Malta and Gozo is a long-term solution for the latter citizens’ ability to access the former.
In comments given to a local newsroom, Malta Today, Mr Borg highlighted how the Gozo chamber has been calling for a fourth ship to be added to the fleet for “many years”.
He went on to say that the addition of a fourth ferry is certainly positive, noting however that just last week he was made to wait 30 minutes for a ferry, calling the situation “far from ideal,” despite acknowledging the improved queueing times.
Last June a fourth ferry, called the Nikoloas, was added to the fleet which serve to connect Malta and Gozo. Reports have consistently come in about the reduced traffic queues thanks to the added frequency of the ferries.
Despite the more frequent trips, complaints have been made that the fourth ship does not have modern facilities, with steep steps and other features making it difficult for the elderly or people with certain disabilities to access the ship.
Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana had said the fourth ship is here to stay pending the release of a tender to replace it with a more modern vessel.
The Gozo Business Chamber has been a strong advocate of a tunnel connecting Malta and Gozo to increase accessibility for Gozitans to the main island. Critics argue that the hefty price tag, estimated at €300 million, together with the environmental degradation involved and the congestion this project could bring to Gozo is a short-sighted solution to a genuine issue.