Due to the lack of transport links to the western part of the island of Korčula and the island of Lastovo, mayors of municipalities of Vela Luka, Blato, Smokvica and Lastovo have sent an open letter to Jadrolinija’s CEO David Sopta, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić, and Member of Parliament Branko Bačić, reports Dalmacija Danas on April 25, 2019.
“The island of Korčula is one of the most populated Croatian islands without a physical link to the mainland, while the inhabitants of the island of Lastovo and the western part of the island of Korčula are some of the most isolated ones, if we take into consideration time needed for them to reach their county seats. For this reason, most residents gravitate towards the county seat of the neighbouring county, which is connected with the islands by ferry and catamaran lines. For years these lines have been neglected, both qualitatively (types of vessels) and quantitatively (number of lines). Although fast and with excellent manoeuvring capabilities, the Lastovo ferry no longer has enough capacity for this line, and it could surely serve its purpose better on some other island line.
Accordingly, on January 28, 2019, a meeting was held in Dubrovnik on the topic of solving the problems of the (non-)existence of transport links to the islands in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, especially fast-ship and ferry connections to Vela Luka and Lastovo, initiated by Member of Parliament Branko Bačić.
Four significant conclusions were agreed upon at the meeting: It is necessary for Jadrolinija to immediately start the process of purchasing a used ship for the Split-Vela Luka-Lastovo line, and continue towards constructing a new ship for the same line. The participants also fully supported the construction of eight local- and county-level ports in the area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. It was established that the Jelena catamaran, the only one with the necessary maritime capabilities, should be permanently devoted to the Split-Vela Luka-Lastovo route. There is also the need for the fast-ship Dubrovnik-Lastovo line, for which the government has already given its consent, to be converted into a daily line to improve connections between Lastovo and the county seat, and to make it possible for high school students to attend the secondary school in Korčula, which is the wish of parents from Lastovo.
Given that we have received unofficial information that the purchase of the used vessel Panorama for the Split-Vela Luka- Ubli line has failed, and that the Jelena catamaran will no longer be used for the Split-Hvar-Vela Luka-Ubli route, please let us know as soon as possible whether this information is accurate and what is the plan for the tourist season that has already begun. We also ask you to reconsider the decisions mentioned above, so that in 2019 the inhabitants of the islands of Lastovo and Korčula would no longer be treated as second-class citizens,” states the letter sent by local officials.
Translated from Dalmacija Danas.
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