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The first full details of the multi-million-pound plans for the redevelopment of Ardrossan harbour have finally been revealed.
They will see £15.5 million spent on improving facilities in Ardrossan and, if all goes to plan, could see work start this time next year and be completed by the end of 202o.
All the partner organisations were in Brodick Hall on Tuesday to show details of the proposals at the community drop-in session and dozens of interested people turned out on a dreadful night to see what was on offer.
They included port owners Peel Ports, Transport Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne, Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL), North Ayrshire Council and many more.
And the proposals confirm just what had been expected from the preferred design option announced by the government-led Ardrossan Harbour Taskforce in April including:
- A new Brodick berth and linkspan for the MV Glen Sannox and the upgrading of the Irish berth, ensuring two number berths are always available.
- A new or comprehensively redeveloped terminal building.
- New marshalling areas and upgraded car parking with enhanced capacity.
- Improved terminal to rail platform and town centre connections, including a new covered walkway.
The plans show the new hydraulic linkspan proposed for the Brodick berth is similar to the new linkspan at Brodick. A refurbished linkspan is proposed for the Irish berth providing a back-up facility.
The linkspan is to be designed for use by all three of the primary design vessels to load and unload vehicles through all states of the tide from lowest astronomical tide to highest astronomical tide. Vessels may dock either bow in or stern in. This includes the MV Glen Sannox, due to come into service next autumn.
Ardrossan harbour has always involved a ‘handbrake turn’ on entering the harbour. The proposals being developed, and as illustrated within the masterplan, are based on the taskforce outline proposals which look to re-align the Brodick berth providing a minimum berth face to better service the needs of the three primary design vessels.
The primary purpose of the new two-storey terminal building, or maritime hub, is to provide for ferry users and ensure the ‘lifeline services’ to Arran and Kintyre are fully supported within a modern, fit-for-purpose terminal.
There are also plans to upgrade the parking and marshalling area with a view to enable the port to handle one million passengers a year on the Arran and Campbeltown routes.
‘Creating an all-user transport interchange means improvements and better connections between the new terminal building and the railway station and town centre. Improvements to public transport connections and facilities for active travel will be incorporated where possible within the proposals,’ the masterplan states.
Then there is confirmation of the cost: ‘Peel Ports, North Ayrshire Council and partners are investing £15.5 million to the Ardrossan harbour upgrade.
‘The steering group has developed a high-level programme for the harbour works programme. The preferred option with amended berthing will require additional works over that originally proposed with the potential for more disruption to ferry timetables and a longer build programme. Design and technical studies being currently undertaken are seeking to identify mechanisms to mitigate impacts and accelerate the contract award process.
‘Detailed technical studies and contract procurement may require amendments to the programme. The master programme assumes completion by end 2020. The programme is dependent upon conclusion of design development and may be amended dependent on the finally agreed scope of works.
‘Planning and master planning for the new facilities seeks to minimise disruption and ensure continuity of service at all times. Lessons have been learned from other recent terminal and facility upgrades (including Brodick) and every opportunity is being taken to plan the works to take advantage of the full extent of the site and phase works to avoid disruption,’ according to the plans.
Reaction to the drop-in consultation was mixed. Some felt they had plenty of time to view the displays on offer and give their feedback and written comments, while others were unhappy that there was no opportunity to ask questions from the floor of a public meeting.
A second public consultation was held in Ardrossan on Wednesday afternoon.
The Ardrossan habour consultation meeting attracted a healthy interest. 01_B43habour02
Visitors study the proposals in Brodick Hall. 01_B43harbour03
An artist’s impression of the proposed new linkspan at Ardrossan. NO_B43harbour03