Premier Christy Clark, Transportation Minister Todd Stone and BC Ferries CEO Mike Corrigan owe the travelling public that was caught in Friday’s B.C. Day weekend snafu at Horseshoe Bay a public apology for their collective incompetence.
The B.C. Day weekend is one of BC Ferries’ busiest of the year. Yet last Friday highway construction on the Nelson Creek Bridge, east of Horseshoe Bay, saw Langdale bound traffic being told to stop and wait on the side of the freeway up to two kilometres from the toll booth.
Drivers were given numbered tickets to present at the toll booth. Hundreds of vehicles including those carrying small children, the aged and frail, and pets were forced to wait in the hot sun for upwards of two and half hours, with limited or no access to water or washrooms.
Hundreds of travellers were held outside of the terminal gates while at least two sailings to Langdale departed with significant empty deck space. This caused BC Ferries to schedule an extra sailing to make up for their mismanagement.
One would like to think that between the B.C. government, the B.C. Department of Highways and BC Ferries management that they could have and should have anticipated that doing highway construction work on the approach to the Horseshoe Bay terminal on the Friday leading into the B.C. Day weekend and holding people outside the terminal in the sun was perhaps not the brightest of ideas.
This latest snafu is further proof of the need to reintegrate BC Ferries back under more direct government control with the hope and expectation that there be better coordination of highway work schedules to facilitate rather than obstruct the travelling public, most of whom are both B.C. voters and taxpayers.
We live in hope, despite the continuing mismanagement.
Jef Keighley, BC Ferry Coalition chair
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