AFTER plans to improve Troon Harbour were agreed inaccurate reports that it would be home to the Arran ferry spread.

A planning application lodged for improvements in Troon has been agreed to allow the vessel to dock there as an alternative to the Irish berth in Ardrossan, which will serve as the main berth, despite reports to the contrary.

Referring to inaccurate reporting in other publications, Kenneth Gibson MSP said: “I’ve just spoken to ferries Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP.

“Paul has confirmed what we already know; that the ferry will not be moving from Ardrossan to Troon.

“Paul also confirmed that neither he nor anyone in the Scottish Government was contacted and asked about this before or indeed since it was published.

“It’s mischief making.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Troon HarbourTroon Harbour

Troon Harbour owners, Associated British Ports (ABP), made an application with the Scottish Government to try and entice them to permanently move the ferry to the South Ayrshire town but this was knocked back by then Transport Minister Humza Yousaf after months of campaigning by both residents of Troon and those from Ardrossan and Arran.

Contingency planning for the Ardrossan multi-million pound harbour development project is currently being developed, with the Irish berth being used as the primary dock during the two year construction period.

In the event that the Irish berth is unavailable during the works, Troon is being considered as an alternative temporary mainland berth.

Previously, reports claimed Troon would be a beneficial mainland port for the ferry due to cover from the weather.

But when the Isle of Arran vessel sought refuge in the South Ayrshire port in January 2017, pulled by a tug boat, it fouled the harbour wall and became stuck.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Arran ferry stuck at Troon Harbour in 2017Arran ferry stuck at Troon Harbour in 2017

Late last year, Troon was used as a refuge port for one day but massive delays ensued and the ferry service has not returned to South Ayrshire since.

An ABP spokesperson said the situation remains as it was last month.

She told the Herald: “We are working closely with Transport Scotland and CalMac to develop ways in which we can help offer additional resilience to ferry services on the network and potentially assist during the period of construction at Ardrossan terminal.”

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said that nothing had changed.

They said: “Associated British Ports is considering works that would make it easier for Calmac vessels to berth there if required due to any unexpected outage at other ports.”