Friday, January 13, 2006

It Takes It's Toll.

After a break of about seven years I ventured onto the Cook Strait Ferries this holiday season. And immediately remembered why I'd made a pledge in 1998 never to travel on them again. Tranzrail or Toll it doesn't seem to matter who runs the interisland service they all seem to make a bloody great mess of it.

One got my goat on this occasion was the way they berth the new ferry Kaitaki in Wellington harbour. Take it from me, if you take the one PM service from Picton don't expect to be getting off it in a hurry if you are taking your car across.

Here's why:

The Kaitaki doesn't berth at the old ferry terminal. Instead it ties up further towards the city ... sort of near where Shed 11 used to be. From the off-ramp of the ferry, it's a mere 150 or so metres to the traffic lights that get you onto the main road outside the train station. That 150 metres fills with cars very rapidly and the lights aren't friendly towards cars coming off the ferry. Especially when it's rush hour.

That's the view that greets the travelling motorist as they get off in Wellington. Mind you they have to wait for it. Around 45 minutes in a fume engulfed ship's hold. Having said that, as bad as I felt I can only assume these poor souls behind me were far worse off.

The three hours spent on the boat isn't so bad, but take it from me having to wait the best part of an hour to get off is a pain in the arse. Toll, could you kindly sort your shit out!

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