Up the poll
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Up the poll

Photo: Steve Zammit Lupi

Photo: Steve Zammit Lupi

The other day, I held a snap poll of readers of this newspaper’s website. Admittedly, it was a survey only of people who read the site after mid-morning on a Thursday, who were attracted to reading an opinion piece about the proposed channel tunnel and who were bothered enough to express a view on it. Nobody, therefore, could describe it as a true cross-section of the whole community. Nevertheless, I trust its conclusion will be taken into account along with many other, less well-defined, so-called surveys.

The poll asked: “Would you like to see faster and more frequent ferries and more accessibility to the ports at either side?” Or: “Do you favour a 20-kilometre single-lane undersea tunnel in which you might be stuck behind a truck belching exhausts for 20-30 minutes between Manikata and Nadur and don’t care about the effect it might have on the environment?” At the end of the day, the voting was 100 per cent in favour of the ferry option.

One very simplistic (or obvious) interpretation could be that if the ferry service were improved there might then be no need for a tunnel.

The government has promised a fast-ferry service although, unlike the tunnel, it has not given a timeline for its introduction. The current fleet is approaching its best-before date and nothing has been said about replacing the ferries, although I am assured that suitable vessels are available to buy.

Potentially, they could save the taxpayer many millions of euros. And if they improved port access on the south side, they could save frustrated commuters many hours of wasted time.

Job done.

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