THE Arran Ferry Committee has urged the powers that be to keep the Arran Ferry travelling to Ardrossan during the planned upgrades at the Harbour.

The committee met on Monday, May 14 and numerous groups, businesses and stakeholders were present, including five Calmac representatives.

Last month the Herald exclusively revealed that Calmac wanted the ferry to move to Troon during harbour upgrades but none of the other members of the Ardrossan Harbour Taskforce shared this view, with local MSP Kenneth Gibson vehemently against the move.

On Monday’s, Mr Gibson made his opposition to any move clear and asked for the views of the committee and Calmac. None of the Calmac representatives said they knew enough about the Ardrossan Harbour redevelopment to give an opinion, although they said ‘safety came first.’

However, Marine Manager Mr Lee McDowall, who is a skipper, said that whilst safety is always the first consideration and stated: “The Irish berth is safe and is currently used in about eight per cent of sailings.”

Iain Thomson, chair of the committee added: “The Ferry Committee is absolutely adamant that we must retain the Ardrossan to Brodick route whilst Ardrossan Harbour is redeveloped.”

Committee Members agreed unanimously that sailings from Ardrossan should continue during the redevelopment, with Gourock remaining as the ‘port of refuge’ in bad weather and that Troon should not be considered.

Mr Gibson said: “I am delighted at the unanimous support for Ardrossan. I will take this clear position to Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and the Islands. I am convinced that, with Mr Yousaf himself amongst the many preferring continued sailings from Ardrossan, this will now happen.”