The owners of the cross-river ferry service in Cork harbour have told Cork County Council they don't believe it's economically viable to put on a second ferry at peak evening times.
Doyle Shipping contacted Paraic Lynch, municipal officer for the Cobh/Glanmire Municipal District Council, to tell him the news after a number of councillors petitioned the company to beef up their service from Glenbrook, on the Passage West side to Carrigaloe, on the Cobh side.
Councillors living in the Cobh area are particularly concerned about the length of time it is taking people to get across the harbour from the Glenbrook side during the evening rush-hour period.
Mr Lynch told the councillors that Doyle Shipping had contacted him to say they didn't see it as viable to operate two ferries at that time. However, he added that the company says it will continue to monitor the situation, especially when major work gets underway on the €100m upgrade of the Jack Lynch Tunnel/Dunkettle interchange later this year.
Councillors are particularly concerned about that as they believe it will drive more motorists to use the cross-river ferry to avoid delays at the northern side of the tunnel as the upgrade works get underway.
But in the meantime, several expressed concern with Doyle Shipping's decision.
Cllr Sinead Sheppard said she can't understand why it wouldn't be economically feasible as she is often stuck in a lengthy queue on the Glenbrook side as she waits to get back to Cobh.
“The traffic (waiting to use the ferry) is often backed up nearly into Passage (West). There is definitely a case for a second ferry to be put on from there to Carrigaloe at peak times.”
Cllr Cathal Rasmussen, who also lives in Cobh, agreed with her. He works in Pfizer in Ringaskiddy and said he commutes to and from his place of employment via the ferry every day.
“From a safety point of view alone it should be done. There are loads of school children dropped off on the Glenbrook side and left there to get the ferry. Cars are backed up as well,” Cllr Rasmussen added.