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Hiiumaa ferry timetable change will harm local business, says one firm

Leiger ferry at the Port of Rohuküla, linking the island of Hiumaa with the mainland.
Leiger ferry at the Port of Rohuküla, linking the island of Hiumaa with the mainland. Source: Juhan Hepner/ERR

Changes to the ferry link timetable to Estonia's second-largest island, Hiiumaa, have been met with criticism from local businesses, according to ERR's online news in Estonian.

The new timetable sees the first ferry of the day leaving the island at 5.30 a.m., an hour earlier than previously, which has both safety and economic implications, according to Anu Pielberg, manager of a haulage company which has operated from Hiiumaa for 20 years.

Quoted in local paper Hiiu Leht (link in Estonian), Pielberg said that the move would mean truck drivers would have to be up by 4.30 a.m., which she said was not safe.

The change also means that drivers will finish at 3 p.m., meaning the return trip to Tallinn cannot be made in the one day, as it could do with a 6.30 a.m. start, as well as either trucks having to be decked out with sleeping accommodation, or drivers spending the night in Tallinn, which would also push up costs.

A recent National Audit Office (Riigikontroll) analysis found an increase in volume of passengers and vehicles travelling between the island and the mainland in recent years, and the 2020 state budget unveiled in September reinstated a sixth ferry service for the off-season period.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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