THE people of Arran will be given the opportunity to hear the overwhelming case for the Brodick-Ardrossan ferry crossing at a special public event this week.
Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting on Thursday, December 8, to hear why the current Brodick-Ardrossan route – which has existed for 180 years – is the best option for islanders.
Those attending will get the opportunity to hear the case for the route, ask questions and put their own ideas and thoughts forward. These contributions will then be taken forward and used as part of the submission to Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.
Troon port owners ABP have launched a bid to operate the Arran ferry despite the fact that the current route is the fastest, shortest and cheapest crossing between Arran and the mainland.
Ferry travellers would face longer journeys and a dramatic price hike in the service was to move to Troon. Foot passengers would face a possible £299 a year increase while drivers and their vehicles can expect to pay an extra £2,493 a year for a five-day commute. In addition, a return journey to Brodick from Troon would be significantly longer – anything between 45 and 55 minutes.
North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: “The people of Arran are reliant on the ferry service and their views will play an important role – that’s why we want to make it clear that the Brodick-Ardrossan crossing is the best option for the island. The message from the people of Arran is loud and clear – they want a reliable and efficient ferry service.
“The planned infrastructure improvements at Ardrossan Harbour along with the more powerful ferry will deliver that – with the added benefits that passengers will not have to fork out a small fortune by taking a longer, slower and more expensive service to and from Troon.
“I would urge people to turn out at the meeting and get the opportunity to hear the full facts surrounding the service, as well the chance to ask questions and make their feelings clear.”
The event on Arran will be held at Brodick Hall on Thursday, December 8. It is scheduled to start at 4pm with a drop-in session, giving people a chance to speak to Council officers. At approximately 5pm, the formal part of the meeting will get under way with key speakers addressing those attending. It is expected the meeting will last until approximately 6.30pm.