Amid disruptions, rising fees and traffic jams a group of angry residents from Port Macquarie's North Shore have called on government to fix what they say is an inadequate ferry service. Members from North Side Progress Association gathered at the Hastings River on Wednesday, December 6, to highlight their experiences dealing with service disruptions. From sleeping in cars to snaking back along Maria River Road late at night, residents argue Port Macquarie-Hastings Council are treating them like a 'second class citizen'. Progress Association president Kerry Fox said residents want a long term solution including alternatives if a ferry service is halted. "We expect better treatment from council and we also expect a better plan b," she said. "We also want council to consider what the future options are here for the ferries on the North Shore. "This is our road and we need to ensure that we are not constantly disadvantaged financially by having to use the road. As it is we have to pay an extra $365 a year and ferry fees with a concession ticket." North Shore resident Lindy Frost doesn't venture out much at night but went to a meeting two weeks ago, returning to catch the ferry home at about 9.30pm. When she found the ferry was bogged on the riverbank and services wouldn't resume until the morning, she considered sleeping at a motel until eventually deciding to drive home at about 11.30pm. "I did feel quite vulnerable doing that drive down Maria River Road. I just went slowly because it was quite wet and muddy but luckily no kangaroos," she said. "When I got home I was so glad to get home safely. I'm just glad that ordeal was over. It was not a nice experience." Ms Frost said in this circumstance a passenger water taxi would have helped her reach her husband who was waiting across the other side. The Settlement Point and Hibbard ferries provide vehicle access across the Hastings River to and from the North Shore. The 15-car capacity Hibbard ferry is currently servicing Settlement Point while the larger ferry undergoes repairs, expected to be completed by Christmas. The council service runs at a loss of almost $1 million a year and fares were increased for 2023-24 in an attempt to offset some of these growing costs. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council manager of infrastructure planning and design Blayne West said there has been regular correspondence between staff and the progress association. Ms West said council is open to some of the residents requests including the changing of slipping days and the improvement of SMS communication when the service is interrupted. Residents have also requested a third ferry on standby should maintenance be required on one of the main boats. "Financially it's extremely difficult thing to outlay. And availability of ferries, we have had our management team looking into what availability is there and there simply isn't anything close," Ms West said. "If we had to go all the way to Sydney we do have the risk of liability of towing a ferry up on the open sea to get it up here." The council wrote to Transport for NSW in October about about transferring ferry management to the state government and are awaiting a response. Ms West encouraged North Shore residents to also write to the NSW government. A spokesperson for the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said the the minister met with the council in June. They added that the minister thanked "the council for its patience while these matters are considered and advice is prepared by experts within Transport for NSW." "We understand cost of living is a major challenge across the state and are committed to managing the state's finances responsibly without adding to inflation."