Victor Harbor Horse Tram services temporarily suspended again

The Horse Tram.
The Horse Tram.

For the second time in 2019, the Victor Harbor Horse Tram service has been temporarily suspended upon advice from the South Australian Government Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).

Following the incident on New Year’s Day where a pylon on the heritage listed Causeway partially gave way, DPTI have undertaken an assessment of the Causeway to determine the extent of the damage. The repairs to the pylon on New Year’s Day closed the horse tram operation for five days.

Council was advised on Tuesday, January 22, that the preliminary findings of the assessment show deterioration of piles at different locations along the structure.

Council spokesperson said DPTI advised an independent engineering assessment will be undertaken as a priority and repairs to the pylon that failed on New Year’s Day will soon start.

“As a precautionary measure, the horse tram service has been suspended until we are satisfied that it is safe to operate,” a spokesperson said.

“Pedestrians and permitted commercial vehicles will be able to access the Causeway as usual. We are disappointed to suspend horse tram services for a second time this summer. The safety of our passengers, horses and staff, remain our number one priority.”

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said a long-term solution will be investigated.

“Repairs to the piles that failed earlier this month will commence on Tuesday, February 4 and are expected to take four days. The Department has also called a tender for design of refurbishment of the entire causeway,” Mr Knoll said.

Mr Knoll said the State Government will work with the City of Victor Harbor, as well as affected businesses and local residents to ensure safety and minimise the impact of the vehicle suspension.

“The safety of causeway users is the State Government’s first priority and the expert advice suggests that vehicle access including the horse-drawn tram be suspended pending further information,” Mr Knoll said.

“While the affected piles are not adjacent to each other, the potential consequence of a failure of these piles has not yet been determined. Further independent engineering assessments will be undertaken as a priority with works to start as soon as possible.

“Pedestrian access will be permitted, apart from limited stoppages during assessment and repair works.

“Due to access constraints, vehicles will not be able to use the causeway while the works are undertaken, however DPTI and contractors are working with the café operating on Granite Island and Oceanic Victor to facilitate delivery of supplies.”

The Clydesdales will still be at the stables nearthe Causeway daily so visitors can meet them and take photos. There is also a family day planned at the Horse Tram stables on Monday, January 28.

The City of Victor Harbor will continue to work closely with DPTI, and keep the community updated on the Causeway repairs and Horse Tram service as they have more information.