Ironing out teething troubles at terminal

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New seating could be installed in the ground floor of the new Brodick ferry terminal, under plans being considered by ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne, the Banner understands.

There has been criticism over the fact that there are no seats on the ticket desk floor, designed to improve the space for the smooth flow of passengers arriving at the terminal, as well as concern that there is now nowhere to wait for the bus.

However, it is just one of the teething problems being considered by CalMac at the new terminal – now in its seventh week of operation discussed at the recent meeting of Arran Community Council.

Debate has also been sparked by the feature in the Banner last week in which the Arran Civic Trust highlighted the unitended consequences of the new £30 million ferry terminal.

In another development passengers can now drop-off bags at the desk in Brodick and pick them up at Ardrossan. However there is concern at the speed of the operation on the mainland if passengers are heading for the train and this is being addressed.

Also of major concern to the community council was the use of the new terminal car park, which they heard was being ‘monitored’. Members heard that it was intended as a short-stay car park with cars expected to stay maximum of a few days and not long term, however, there was concern that the blue badge spaces for the disabled were already being abused.

Chairman Bill Calderwood said there were now more car parking spaces than ever and were of a much better quality. However, he said, a little tongue in cheek: ‘I don’t think they ever intended for everyone on Arran to have a parking space.’

He added: ‘We have to appeal to everyone to use the car park responsibly. There are CCTV cameras and we need to monitor the situation to see where we are going. And we can only ask everyone, please do not abuse the blue badge spaces.’

Meanwhile, a bid by the Isle of Arran Ferry Committee to turn the Lochranza to Claonaig summer ferry service into a year round service has been rejected by CalMac due to ‘operational difficulties’.

The Banner reported last December that the committee had argued that the service could be diverted to Tarbert Loch Fyne in bad weather, and this is still being reviewed.

The ferry committee is also frustrated that despite the fact that in a year from now Arran may have two ferries, when the MV Glen Sannox comes into service, however neither Transport Scotland or CalMac will given any indication of the timetabling of the new year round two ferry service.