‘It’s great for mo­torists’

511 ser­vice pro­vides pub­lic with up to date travel in­for­ma­tion

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS - BY JULIE COLLINS jcollins@cb­post.com

The cap­tain in charge of the pro­vin­cial cable fer­ries in Lit­tle Narrows and English­town in Vic­to­ria County would like to see more peo­ple take ad­van­tage of 511 Nova Sco­tia as a way to keep up to date on ferry ser­vice and road con­di­tions.

The ser­vice is free and can be ac­cessed by call­ing 511 or go­ing on­line.

“It is par­tic­u­larly con­ve­nient with re­spect to the ferry ser­vice in Lit­tle Narrows,” said Wil­liam Hor­ton. “In the event the ferry has to be taken out of ser­vice, we have to phys­i­cally put up the signs and that prob­a­bly takes about 45 min­utes. But the no­ti­fi­ca­tion is on 511 within five min­utes of go­ing out of ser­vice, it goes on as soon as I’m no­ti­fied.”

Hor­ton said even when signs are posted, there are so many signs along the high­ways that peo­ple of­ten don’t pay at­ten­tion and ar­rive at the dock only to find that the ferry is out of ser­vice.

Flash­ing lights at Bar­ra­chois, South Haven and English­town no­tify mo­torists when the Torquil MacLean cable ferry, which trav­els be­tween English­town and Jer­sey Cove, isn’t in op­er­a­tion.

Hor­ton said as the cap­tain in charge, if he knows ahead of time that a ferry is go­ing to be out of ser­vice for re­pairs, he posts a 24-hour no­tice on 511.

“The no­ti­fi­ca­tion will also pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on the es­ti­mated length of the shut­down,” he said. “It’s great for mo­torists and also for peo­ple liv­ing in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties so they can plan. The in­for­ma­tion on the fer­ries is listed at the bot­tom of the 511 re­port on road con­di­tions.”

Along with Lit­tle Narrows and English­town, the prov­ince op­er­ates cable fer­ries in LaHave in Lunen­burg County and Coun­try Har­bour in Guys­bor­ough County.

With the first day of spring less than seven weeks away, Hor­ton is hop­ing for clear sail­ing for the re­main­der of the win­ter.

“We’ve had a lit­tle down time, but over­all we’ve had a pretty good win­ter so far,” he said. “Be­tween now and April we will have some ad­di­tional down time, I have no doubt of that. But, if it is sim­i­lar to last year I would be pleased. I never com­mit to pre­dic­tions when it comes to drift ice in March and April, but we’ll have to see how it goes.”

The ferry at Lit­tle Narrows is sched­uled for a ma­jor re­fit in early spring. It will be re­placed by the Sco­tian, which is presently in dry dock in Port Hawkes­bury.

“It’s been quite a while since that ves­sel (Cao­las S’ilis) has been to a ship­yard so ev­ery­thing will be checked.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The crew on board the Cao­las S’ilis in Lit­tle Narrows, one of two pro­vin­cial cable fer­ries that op­er­ate in Vic­to­ria County, waits for traf­fic Wed­nes­day be­fore cross­ing St. Pa­trick’s Chan­nel.

Hor­ton

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