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The proposal for a full year round service between Lochranza and Kintyre is a sound one.
Making Lochranza more accessible for more of the year will not only benefit the north but the whole of the island with the ability to attract more visitors and allow Arran residents and businesses easier access to the mainland.
We at the Banner I am sure are not alone in making regular trips to Oban which invariably involve a three-day trip in winter to attend one day of meetings.
The Isle of Arran Ferry Committee has estimated a potential winter passenger volume of 18,200 passengers, triple the present number and averaging 700 additional journeys a week. That is a lot of additional business for everyone.
Of course it is only a proposal at this stage. CalMac get first chance to give their opinion on likely costs and any operational issues, but it will be a decision at the end of the day for Transport Scotland.
We hope that the additional revenue that the service would generate will persuade the powers that be that it would be,at the very least, ‘cost neutral’ and that the benefits of the year round service would be a real boost to the Arran economy.