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Ferry service delayed again

marciadottin, [email protected]

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The much-talked-about ferry service that would link Barbados and a handful of Caribbean islands, has been hit by another delay.The Grenada-based company BEDY Oceanline, which plans to connect Barbados, St Vincent, Trinidad, St Lucia and Grenada through the proposed service, says there has been a change of plans and “we have delayed our launch date”.As to when the service will start, the company would only say, “We expect to be in service very soon . . . .” The company made the disclosure in a message to customers and prospective clients on its website.The announcement followed launch postponements in 2009 and last February of a service welcomed by many people because of the high cost of regional air travel.The company said it had been forced to change its plans because of the “overwhelming response” from the public to the ferry proposal.“When we started this venture, we primarily had a small ferry for passenger service only,” it reported.“Due to an overwhelming response, we have updated our plans; we are now in the process of creating a service to the islands that will include: passengers, cargo, vehicles and excursions.“Due to this change, we have delayed our launch date.”The company “apologised for any inconvenience that this delay may have caused”. The company says it has now obtained two large vessels that will be offering the inter-island travel service. The company’s chief executive officer, Benjamin Ross, could not be reached for comment yesterday.However, he has told the media that though there have been obstacles, the company remained firmly committed to getting its boats in the water this year.His view was that the governments of the Caribbean clearly recognise the need for a ferry service because the cost of airline travel continues to skyrocket.“The project is still on board for sure. I can’t give a commencement date at this time, but I can assure the people of the Caribbean that we will get started this year,” Ross said in an earlier interview with the DAILY NATION.