News from NZ First
Hiring a ferry that can’t take foot passengers across Cook Strait highlights the incompetence of KiwiRail management, says Winston Peters.
The InterIslander has confirmed that the replacement ship Stena Alegra would not initially be able to take foot passengers as the ship was not compatible with the passenger gangways at Picton and Wellington.
Mr Peters says there has been a string of botch ups and failures with the Cook Strait ferry service and the management and the board must carry the can.
“What company in its right mind would hire a beaten up ferry from Europe that can’t take foot passengers? Are they supposed to swim across? Will they have to bludge rides in the vehicles that can be carried on the ferry?
“We suggest that the KiwiRail management be given backpacks and a ferry ticket each and sent on foot down to the ferry terminal. They need to experience the outcome of their flawed decision making first hand.”
News from InterIslander
nterislander has today re-opened the booking system for new vehicle bookings for both the Kaitaki and Stena Alegra from 12 January to 31 March, 2014.
Aratere’s interim replacement ship, Stena Alegra, will do two returns (four crossings) per day from the 12th of January. Two crossings will be Freight Only and two will be a mix of Freight and Vehicle Passengers.
“The extra capacity this new ship provides will go a very long way to alleviating the capacity constraint for all traffic across Cook Strait from this date,” said Interislander General Manager Thomas Davis.
Interislander staff are still in the process of re-allocating freight booked on the Arahura across the three ship fleet, but expect to open this ferry up for new passenger vehicle bookings over the same period shortly.
“Unfortunately Stena Alegra won’t be able to initially take foot passengers as the vessel isn’t compatible with the passenger gangways at the terminals.”
“Our teams are working on a solution for this but both the Kaitaki and Arahura have plenty of capacity for foot passengers, and we still have foot passenger capacity for new bookings on at least one sailing on every date over the Christmas/New Year period.
“We thank our customers for their support and patience as we continue to work to help ensure the capacity issues are minimised,” Mr Davis says.
The timetable is as follows:
Kaitaki Depart 9:00 am Arrive 12:10 pm
Arahura Depart 3:00 pm Arrive 6:10 pm
Stena Alegra Depart 5:00 pm Arrive 8:45 pm
Kaitaki Depart 8:00 pm Arrive 11:15 pm
Picton – Wellington
Stena Alegra Depart 9:00 am Arrive 12:30 pm
Arahura Depart 11:00 am Arrive 2:10 pm
Kaitaki Depart 2:00 pm Arrive 5:30 pm
Arahura Depart 7:00 pm Arrive 10:10 pm