SAN JAVIER council has replaced the grounded Mar Menor ferry service with a fleet of water taxis.
For reasons unknown, the popular ferry between Santiago de la Ribera and the Tomas Maestre port at the north of La Manga ceased operation in December.
That’s despite the operator, Mar Menor Ferry, qualifying for a €75,000 per annum subsidy from San Javier council.
Transport councillor, Antonio Martinez Torrecillas, said the latest subsidy had not been paid and added the service stoppage was down to ‘an internal problem within the company’.
The three replacement water taxis will begin operating from June with a capacity to carry 12 people in each of them- well down on the 70 travellers that could be accommodated on the ferry.
The councillor said they would run more frequently than the ferry and operate between 10.00am and 10.00pm, but no timetable has been declared or details of fares which were €5 for the ferry.
The council has also been criticised for taking so long to announce replacement services.
President of the Mar Menor Entrepreneurs and Merchants association, Jose Luis Espinosa, said: “Other maritime companies should have been contacted rather having this service stopped for so long.”
“This is yet another example of San Javier’s disconnection with La Manga and the neglect of a service that should be running,” he added.