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So the people of Arran have been given something else to ponder over Christmas, which at least may take their minds off the pandemic for a little while.
Do they want the ferry service to go to Troon for the duration of the improvement works at Ardrossan? Until now that had seemed unlikely for any length of time – now it feels like a real possibility.
For the government-led Ardrossan Harbour Taskforce to admit they are worried disruption and a lack of certainty of service at Ardrossan, during the works, suggests to me that they may have already all but made up their minds.
Certainly the prospect of the new, bigger MV Glen Sannox trying to operate for the duration out of the Irish Berth will not fill anyone with a huge amount of confidence. And this will not be for a few weeks or a few months. With works planned for 18 months, you can bet it could be for two years.
Yes, there will have to be work done at Troon. Certainly some sort of administration centre and the distance to the train station remains a problem, but it is not insurmountable.
With proper preparation and planning it might just work. But what do the people of Arran think? The Taskforce has promised an, as yet unspecified, public consultation ahead of the decision, but with that due in February, they had better press on with that.
Time will tell, but for the first time it looks like it is Troon’s time.