Copycat vision of the new Ardrossan ferry terminal

An illustration of how the new Ardrossan ferry terminal may look, but the final design has still to be agreed.

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By Hugh Boag

Consultation has started on proposals to develop the land-side facilities at Ardrossan Harbour aimed at increasing capacity at CalMac’s busiest ferry terminal to one million passengers a year.

Members of the public can now view and comment on the draft plans which focus on a new two-storey terminal building, a passenger access system, similar to that in Brodick, and parking and marshalling facilities.

North Ayrshire Council is working with a group of project partners – Transport Scotland, CMAL, Peel Ports Group, CalMac and the Arran Ferry Committee – to complete a comprehensive upgrade and redevelopment of the Ardrossan ferry terminal at a cost of £15.5 million.

The aim of the proposals it to improve the facilities and operations at Ardrossan to meet the additional capacity provided by the MV Glen Sannox, with the Arran berth being realigned to accommodate the vessel.

Early design drawings of the new ferry terminal show it is a virtual copycat of the Brodick ferry terminal with the ticket office on the ground floor and the waiting room upstairs and linked to the ferry by a passenger access system.

The council estimates current ferry passenger numbers to be around 813,000 annually – although this has been badly hit by the pandemic – which it wants to see increase to one million a year.

It also wants to increase the capacity of cars to 210,000, a figure almost reached in 2019.

A separate consultation will be held on interim service arrangements for the temporary operation of the Arran ferry service from Troon once the MV Glen Sannox vessel comes into operation, which is not now expected until next year.

North Ayrshire Council leader Joe Cullinane said: ‘We know people are eager to see how the plans are shaping up for the ferry terminal so I’m delighted that residents will be able to see these for themselves and offer their thoughts.

‘The proposals take into account learning from the development of the facilities at Brodick and feedback from users.’

This is thought to include criticism of the passenger access system, which has been criticised for being too long in Brodick.

Councillor Cullinane added:  ‘We know that there is frustration among ferry users, particularly those on Arran who rely on the service, over delays to the new MV Glen Sannox and the harbour infrastructure.

‘We hope progress on the new ferry can made as quickly as possible, however, it’s important to note that this consultation focuses on the council-led land-side proposals, which will provide the additional capacity to grow the number of passengers the route accommodates on what is one of Scotland’s busiest ferry routes.

‘Improving capacity and resilience on the route is a priority for us given the importance of this to the Arran and Ardrossan communities. Please have a look and let us know your thoughts.’

The proposals are available to view online at

Any views submitted during the consultation will then be considered before tender documents are published. A timetable for the implementation is not yet available but will take 18 months to two years.

The consultation runs until Sunday March 13. Those unable to view the plans online can see hard copies of the draft proposals in Brodick and Ardrossan libraries.

  • Have your say on Ardrossan Habour redevelopment. See pages 10 and 11