Some residents have complained to BVI News Online that they are being locked out of the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, but the management of the private property said it only intensified screening of motorists amid major transportation changes on the island.
Starting today (May 1), residents have to temporarily use a Dock B at the Yacht Harbour, because the nearby government-owned dock at St Thomas Bay Jetty is being repaired.
Residents using the temporary arrangement to board ferries should not park their vehicles at the Yacht Harbour, because there is not enough space there to accommodate them, plus the regular tenants and customers of the said Harbour.
Residents who want to access the ferry at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour should first park their vehicles – as is customary – at St Thomas Bay Jetty, according to the management of the Yacht Harbour as well as the government-owned BVI Ports Authority.
A shuttle service will then be provided from the St Thomas Bay Jetty to the Yacht Harbour, the Ports Authority promised.
It also published the shuttle schedule that is posted below, as well as “Frequently Asked Questions” that can be located by CLICKING HERE.
Meanwhile, one resident complained to BVI News Online this morning that vehicles are not being allowed to enter the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, resulting in a pile-up of traffic on the main road.
But a representative of the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour said tenants and their customers are being allowed full access to the Harbour.
“We have security at the gate greeting the people and they will ask persons ‘where are you going?’ And persons will say if they are going to the bank and so on. No one is being locked out.”
“What we are trying to do; we are working with Ports Authority to have this go smoothly as possible while also protecting our tenants. The Ports Authority has provided a shuttle for the persons going to the ferry to Tortola… People who are running last minute and so on; I think those are the ones who are upset. If we allow everyone to park [inside the Yacht Harbour] then the tenants and the customers will not have anywhere to park. Nobody is being locked out,” added the Yacht Harbour representative who requested anonymity.
Meanwhile, when contacted, political representative of Virgin Gorda Dr Hubert O’Neal said he was not aware of the challenges in entering the private property.
But he too noted that motorists accessing the ferry service should park their vehicles at the St Thomas Bay Jetty, from where they will be transported to the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour.
“We are trying to relocate the marina [at St Thomas Bay Jetty] and we are hoping for cooperation from the owners of the marina (Yacht Harbour) to allow persons to use it for the period.. Let’s hope that’s gonna happen,” Dr O’Neal further told BVI News Online.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority Alfred Henley recently said the Ports Authority is working with all necessary parties to ensure seamless operation during the temporary relocation, while works are being carried out at St Thomas Bay Jetty.
“Ensuring that the public experiences little to no discomfort is our priority at this time while we repair the Saint Thomas Bay Jetty. I wholeheartedly understand that commuting in itself is strenuous and we wish not to complicate this any further,” he said.
Works on St Thomas Bay Jetty are expected to last for 30 days, said the Government Information Service.
It added, “The scope of works entail the laying of a wearing slab with steel reinforced concrete on the existing jetty, repairing and replacing bollards, placing new bollards for the cargo ramp and pouring a concrete slab on the entire apron, as well as the installation of lighting on the apron.”