THE report into the fight between Ardrossan and Troon for the Arran ferry service supports retention of Ardrossan, it has been revealed today.

The government 'STAG' report names Ardrossan as the shortest, fastest and cheapest route, the argument that has been put forward by campaigners since October of last year.

For the past six months, cross-party support for the retention of Ardrossan has been well documented with the bid from ABP and Troon Harbour being described as predatory.

As the Herald revealed on Friday, the report has been sent out to all relevant parties today (Monday) and they have 14 days to respond before the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, will officially announce his decision.

Cllr Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, is delighted that the report supports Ardrossan and said in a statement: "

"The STAG report confirms what we knew all along - there is no case for moving our ferry service.

"Ardrossan is the shortest, fastest and cheapest route for the Arran ferry and has better transport connectivity. 

"The socio-economic case for Ardrossan is undeniable and the report confirms this too.

"It also blows apart the myth that Troon is a more reliable Harbour with the assessment clearly concluding that there is no measurable difference between the two.

"This has been a long process. It has been almost six months of uncertainty for people on both sides of the ferry service and I am glad we are nearing a conclusion.

"However, I am incredibly proud of our efforts to ensure this was a cross-party campaign, free from party politics, and in particular how our community have united together to fight to retain the ferry service and I am sure this massive effort by so many individuals and groups will have played on the mind of the Minister.

"We know that a final decision will not be made until early April but we welcome the reports confirmation of our case and of course the Minister's view that, at this stage, it supports the view that the ferry should remain in Ardrossan.

"The Council will review the report and provide comment before the deadline, reinforcing the reports and findings that it must remain Ardrossan to Brodick."