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We say it on page one and we repeat it here. This week’s ferry fiasco should never be allowed to happen again.
Surely in this day and age there should sufficient joined up thinking between all of the public and private bodies involved to have a contingency plan in place if something goes wrong with our lifeline ferry service. It is not like they have never had any practice.
A ‘perfect storm’ of events led to a calamity on Saturday night that left the Arran ferry with no where to go. But was it a perfect storm? Ardrossan has just one linkspan working just now, without any backup, as the Irish berth is under repair. The Gourock linkspan has been broken since the middle of last month.
It is just as well Troon stepped in when it did or the Arran ferry could have ended up going to Campbeltown.
CalMac say that the ‘prescendence’ has now been set which could see the Arran ferry use Troon again if the circumstances warranted it, but insist Gourock will remain the main port of refuge when it is fixed.
What is now urgently needed is for CalMac, CMAL, Peel Ports, Transport Scotland and perhaps Associated British Ports, who operate Troon, to get their heads together and come up with an emergency contingency plan to keep the Arran ferry sailing at all possible times.