Heavy traffic levels on three days during the holiday season contributed to significant delays on the Langdale-Horseshoe Bay route. But overall, the ferry corporation said it was happy with its performance moving traffic on and off the Sunshine Coast.
“Certainly Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Dec. 27 were challenging days for us,” said media relations spokesperson Deborah Marshall. “We were experiencing summer traffic levels on our winter schedule. We give more time for turn-around at our dock when the summer schedule is in place, 30 minutes in fact. Our winter schedule allows for a 20-minute turn around. When you are unloading and loading so much traffic, we did see some challenges with our on-time performance on those three days especially.”
When asked by Coast Reporter if another vessel was considered to accommodate the heavy traffic, Marshall said it’s not easy just adding another vessel to the route.
“We had an extra vessel on the Nanaimo run because there is more demand. It also compounds the problem at Horseshoe Bay when you have five ships competing for the three berths,” she said. “On the 26th we were busier out of Horseshoe Bay and had larger overloads, but the Queen of Surrey can accommodate the overloads. One ship can handle the volume. Our crews on shore and on the ship were doing their best to maximize the loads, but that does take extra time to park the vehicles.
“Once a vessel gets behind, you can’t recover with such a high traffic volume. We knew we could carry the traffic by the end of the day. We’re certainly sorry that passengers were inconvenienced by the delays. We always encourage our customers to check the website for delays and to try and adjust their travel schedules if possible. Despite the challenges, especially with those three days, overall, things went pretty well over the holidays.”