A Damen Fast Ferry 3209. BC Ferries are considering buying five of the vessels. (Courtesy of Damen)

Colwood passenger ferry plan makes small waves

Recommendation for Colwood Council to support, in principle, ferry at Royal Bay

Plans for a West Shore passenger ferry are slowly sailing ahead.

At a City of Colwood committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, a recommendation was made for council to support in principle the location of a passenger ferry terminal on the Royal Bay waterfront, subject to further studies.

Studies would include looking at potential impacts to the shoreline and the capacity of transportation infrastructure.

BC Ferries is interested in providing a passenger ferry service from Royal Bay to downtown Victoria.

A pre-feasibility study from SNC-Lavalin highlighted that a solution to traffic jams — commonly known as the Colwood crawl — could be a fast-catamaran ferry that could carry about 300 passengers and maintain a speed of 25 knots. The study also recommended the ferry terminal would need to accommodate parking for about 250 vehicles as well as a bus platform.

READ ALSO: Colwood, Esquimalt mayors support potential passenger commuter ferry

A staff report presented at Tuesday’s committee meeting says Colwood staff “received an application to revise the development concept for the Royal Bay waterfront described as Royal Beach.” The revised concept identifies a site for a future ferry terminal, according to the report, but specifications are dependent on more studies conducted by BC Ferries.

Staff also need to conduct further studies and analysis to determine the impact of the terminal on beach erosion, public access to the waterfront and if the road network can handle an expected increase in traffic.

“A ferry from Royal Beach in Colwood to downtown Victoria has the potential to take about 1,000 vehicles out of the commute, as well as being a unique excursion for tourists,” said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin in a statement.

Councillors at the committee meeting acknowledged the passenger ferry is a unique idea to ease traffic woes but said much more needs to be studied before moving full steam ahead.

READ ALSO: Colwood mayor pitches ferry as commuter alternative

“I think the idea of having a ferry to Victoria from our waterfront is very attractive,” said Coun. Michael Baxter. “But as the study makes clear there are an awful lot of things that need to be studied.”

A key issue noted by all councillors was the effects of the ferry terminal on the lagoon in terms of beach erosion as well as the quality of the waterfront for residents. Other concerns were how much ferry tickets would cost — including how much of the ticket would be subsidized — as well as how the ferry will link up with buses.

Coun. Gordie Logan noted that the current traffic issues are not acceptable and that new solutions need to be explored.

“Being creative is almost a requirement if we’re going to continue to grow,” Logan said.

While discussions are being brought to the table in regards to a passenger ferry, residents may be waiting a while before they see any major movement, according to Martin.

“Royal Beach offers some of the most beautiful waterfront on the Island, so there would need to be some creative thinking to design a terminal with adequate parking and transportation connections,” Martin said in a statement. “Any proposal of this magnitude is going to be years in the making.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Unwrap the glam and make someone shine at the Hudson’s Bay

Special event raises funds for improving mental health across Canada

War bride’s oversea voyage to Canada took a leap of faith

More than 45,000 women immigrated to Canada after the Second World War

One woman’s scrapbook uncovered at Fort Rodd Hill tells story of thousands during Second World War

Joyce Margaret Whitney served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps from 1942 to 1946

Thousands line the streets around the Legislature for Remembrance Day ceremony in Victoria

Over 70 wreaths placed around Cenotaph, honouring those who lost their lives, currently fighting

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

VIDEO: Pups in the pool: West Shore rec centre’s Dog Swim a success

West Shore Parks and Recreation goes to the dogs Sunday night

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Victoria Jazz Orchestra concert raises funds for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre

Maria Manna on tap for the Nov. 16 performance in Victoria

Renowned men’s chorus ‘Back by Popular Demand’ in Victoria

One of Canada’s premier singing ensembles kicks off its 39th season on Nov. 16

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Most Read