The Stige ferry will be closed down
On Friday, the Stig ferry which is Denmark's smallest ferry route will be sailing its last ordinary trip across the Odense Canal. The funds needed to replace the old ferries with new electric-powered ferries have not been acquired, thus ending 207 years of ferry services on the stretch.
The people behind the S/I Stige ferry wrote in a press release "It is with great sadness that S/I Stige Ferry has decided that the ferry operation cannot continue. This happens in spite of wide political support, financial support and a great voluntary effort by the residents in the Stige region.
The explanation is that the timeline for providing full financial backing for the ferry's continued operation, has not been met"
The goal was to raise 3.3 million kroner for two new ferries powered by solar panels, before the beginning of 2015. Sadly they have not succeeded in reaching their goal. Odense Municipality had otherwise guaranteed an operating subsidy of 600.000 kroner a year.
Stige Ferry is Denmark's smallest shipping company and is owned by the Odense Municipality. The company has a fleet of two small ferries: Færgehans and Stige II. The ferries sail between Stige and Bogø north of Odense. The channel is almost 80 meters wide. It takes approximately 1-2 minutes to cross and saves passengers a detour of 6 to 10 km.
"Since April 2014, we have applied to a number of funds. The decision was thus out of our hands. Subsequently, since August 2014 we have been in dialogue with one of the major foundations. Unfortunately, the fund did not process our application before the deadline for the cooperation agreement with Odense Municipality, which expired on December 15th. That resulted in a lack of the financial resources that the project required" says Allan Milé, chairman of S/I Stige ferry.
On Sunday August 24th, the Stig ferry set a record with 1.241 passengers in a single day. The high number og passenger was due to a party that marked the 100th anniversary of the family Nielsen's takeover of the lease on the small ferry.
Source: TV2/Fyn, stigeonline.dk