Troon needs to be fit for ferry

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So, as we told you last week, the ferry is going to Troon for at least 18 months during the redevelopment of Ardrossan harbour.

It became apparent that this was going to happen as 2020 rolled on and the Banner said it was ‘likely’ at Christmas while others still dismissed the idea.

While going to Troon may not be ideal, it is better than a badly disrupted service from the Irish berth at Ardrossan during the works which, a North Ayrshire Council report this week surmises, could have led to a 20-25 per cent cancellation in winter services.

That, compounded by the fact that the new MV Glen Sannox is at last due on the Arran route late next year, and could not use the Irish berth, sealed the move to Troon.

The move – likely in September 2022 – may be more than 18 months away but now that the decision has been taken work must start now in improving the infrastructure at Troon to cope with a daily ferry service.

Associated British Ports (ABP), which owns Troon harbour, pledged this week to work with Transport Scotland and CalMac to offer ‘additional resilience’ to keep the ferry services going.

These talks must start at once and address the very real issues of the difficulty foot passengers will have accessing public transport in Troon, as highlighted on our letters page this week.

Back in Ardrossan things need to be moved quickly forward in getting the redevelopment project signed off in the next four weeks or there have been warnings that there could be yet another three-month delay if things are held up by the six weeks of purdah around the Scottish parliamentary elections.

All parties know time is tight and must go the extra mile in the days ahead to get things pushed through.