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By Hugh Boag
The Port of Troon has produced a new video which it hopes will reassure Arran islanders that Association British Ports (ABP) will be ready when the ferry service moves next year.
Services are due to be diverted to East Pier ferry terminal at Troon next spring to coincide with the arrival of the long-awaited MV Glen Sannox, and will operate from the South Ayrshire port for at least 18 months while major improvement works are carried out at Ardrossan.
Stuart Cresswell, ABP’s port manager at Troon, told the Banner: ‘I am delighted by the progress we have made in construction works at Troon. Hopefully the video will provide your island community with some reassurance that ABP in Troon is doing everything it can do to help resolve the on-going problems you are encountering with your ferry service.
‘As you are aware, the work ABP has to do is now substantially complete so we are simply waiting for the modular passenger terminal to arrive to complete the works – which is being procured by CMAL – and for CalMac to finalise plans for use.
‘I can however report the berth has been successfully used several times in recent weeks by cruise vessels slightly larger than the ferries so it all seems to be in good shape.’
Troon welcomed two cruise calls this week. Noble Caledonia’s MS Island Sky and its sister flagship MS Hebridean Sky made return visits following successful calls in 2021. In total, five of Noble Caledonia’s tours are expected to call or turn around at Troon this year, including the Island Hopping Expedition and the Passage to Iceland.
The short film, available on video hosting site Vimeo, sweeps viewers across the harbour telling them: ‘Troon’s naturally sheltered North Shore bay allows for a safe and stable approach, offering a more reliable service and passenger comfort in all weathers.
‘There is a large unobstructed vessel turning circle, offering easy manoeuvring into the berth in all weathers. The port’s location, berths and depth make for a safe harbour for a variety of vessels, whatever the weather with straightforward loading and unloading of vehicles via a modern 180 tonne capacity link span bridge.’
The video adds there will be a modern passenger terminal including waiting and ticket sales areas and toilets as well as simple boarding and landing of foot passengers via a traditional gangway and a short walk to the terminal building.
There has been widespread concern at the distance from the ferry terminal to the train station in Troon but ABP insist in the video: ‘There will an easy walking route and shuttle buses to the long stay car park for 350 cars. There will also be shuttle buses to the train station connecting with the frequent rail services in both directions. There are also fast efficient road links making it just a 40 minute drive to Glasgow.’
ABP added the video will be amended and updated with additional facts and information when these become clear.
The MS Hebridean Sky berthed at the East Pier at Troon this week. NO_B26troon01