Australian officials have admitted that the cities 10 new ferries don’t fit under some of its bridges, with passengers sitting on its viewing deck having either to vacate the area or duck and cover.
The vessels, which have been built in Singapore and Indonesia and are set to serve Sydney Harbour from later this year, boast a top deck from which passengers can enjoy views of Australia’s largest city — but they will need to take cover twice on their journey, as the ferries can only just fit underneath two bridges on the Parramatta River.
“While customers are able to enjoy the upper deck during their commute, they will need to move to the lower deck when passing the Camellia Railway Bridge and Gasworks Bridge,” a Transport for New South Wales (NSW) spokesperson told local media.
The new River Class ferries, operated by transport company Transdev, will join the fleet of passenger boats that circle Sydney’s famous harbor and the surrounding areas every day.
The tight squeeze has been seized upon by opposition politicians, who have criticized New South Wales transport minister Andrew Constance for buying foreign-made vessels “off the shelf” and failing to tailor the designs to the city.
The city’s transport department insisted it was aware of the problems with fitting tall ferries under the two bridges, but took the decision to order the new ferries anyway.
Boat trips around Sydney Harbour are popular among tourists, though the city’s usual influx of visitors has been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic in recent months.