WHEN I heard about the campaign to #SaveOurFerry I wondered what service in North Ayrshire it could be – surely not the Ardrossan to Brodick? This CalMac service has served me well over the past decade, without it I couldn’t have continued working in my role as CEO of North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Service.
I moved to the beautiful island of Arran in 2005 from Newcastle, which was obviously a huge culture shock and quickly fell in love with the rolling hills and beauty of the island.A major factor in moving there was the efficient ferry service from Arran to the mainland as this was the only way I could maintain my career with charity NACAS.
I grew to love the hour I got to spend sitting on the boat with my CalMac coffee and laptop, preparing for the day ahead and getting to know a regular group of Arran commuters.
I won’t forget the six ticket books and I certainly won’t forget the arrival of the boat into Ardrossan each day – it was often like a scene out of Speed 2: Cruise Control, especially when the swell was high.
On a more serious note, I believe the Ardrossan to Brodick route should remain as is because of all it brings to the local economy. As far as we have been told, changing the route would not only increase fare prices, but also the journey time on the water and make the connecting public transport links more difficult.
We have a NACAS Outreach Surgery on Arran at the Ormidale Sports Centre, Brodick, and every Monday from 9.30am-1pm. Changing this route would not only affect our volunteers and advisors getting there on time to help local residents but we would have to look at rescheduling our Outreach Surgery timetable.
I no longer live on Arran, however, I very much hope a sensible decision will be made.
NACAS Outreach Surgeries take place in Arran every Monday 9.30am-1pm, Largs every second Monday 1-4pm, Millport every second Monday 1-4pm, Beith every Tuesday 10am-12.30pm, Irvine every Tuesday 1-4.30pm, Kilwinning every Thursday 10am-1pm, Dalry every Thursday 2-5pm and Kilbirnie every Friday 10am-1pm. For full details, please visit: www.nacasadvice.org.uk or call 01294 467848.
Nina Smith, CEO, NACAS