An inter-ministerial meeting at Greece’s Shipping and Island Policy ministry on Friday will explore ways to ensure that remote islands remain connected with the mainland particularly in winter with the introduction of combined transport.
The ministry meeting, which will include representatives from airlines and ferry services, aims to draw up a plan that will ensure intermodal transport for both the movement of goods and people. Residents living on remote Greek islands do not have immediate access due to lacking routes or connecting services.
The ultimate goal is to be able to offer the quickest form of transportation possible through combined air and ferry services offering residents of remote islands easier access to their homes. An intermodal transport program will cover part of the journey by sea with final legs carried out by air or vice versa making the trip as short as possible.
This issue has been repeatedly brought to the attention of authorities, North Aegean Region Governor Christiana Kalogirou told the Athens News Agency.
Island transportation should be carried out through a combined scheme that includes travel options by both air and sea, she said, adding that the aim was to spare islanders the inconvenience of often having to stay over night at larger connecting islands, the cost and the time.
In the meantime, the future of a network of waterways which would resolve the issue of transportation between smaller islands is still in the air. A draft law covering license procedures, construction and operation of waterways has put a damper on any waterway plans and projects currently underway.