The main Arran passenger ferry service could be relocating to Troon from tomorrow (Thursday) - for a short time at least.

Ferry operaters CalMac is warning that strong easterly winds could affect services to and from the main berth at Ardrossan harbour from February 8 onwards.

The company has announced it will cancel one round trip on the Ardrossan-Brodick route on Wednesday so that MV Isle of Arran can carry out berthing trials in Troon.

If the trials are successful, CalMac says MV Isle of Arran may operate between Brodick and Troon between Thursday, February 8 and Sunday, February 11, if severe weather prevents the use of Ardrossan.

The Met Office is currently forecasting east-north-east winds gusting to around 40mph on Thursday evening and to 45mph during the day on Friday, though wind speeds are expected to drop significantly through the day on Saturday, and particularly on Sunday.


MV Isle of Arran is currently standing in for the Ardrossan-Brodick route's regular ferry, MV Caledonian Isles, after the latter ship's annual overhaul was extended by more than a month because of the need for extra repairs.

READ MORE: Ardrossan needs a new 'save our ferries' campaign, says Ayrshire MSP

A second backup ferry, the chartered catamaran MV Alfred, is already operating a freight-only service between Brodick and Troon following the closure - initially on a temporary basis, and then permanently - of the second berth at Ardrossan, the so-called 'Irish berth'.


A CalMac spokesperson said: "Due to adverse weather forecasts of easterly winds, services operating to/from the Arran berth may be unsuitable from Thursday, February 8 until Sunday,  February 11. We are currently reviewing contingency plans for alternative service options. 

"MV Isle of Arran will conduct a berthing trial at Troon to confirm if this would be a suitable alternative berth. As a result, the 3.20pm departing Ardrossan and the 4.40pm departing Brodick are cancelled.

"Customers affected by this disruption will be contacted by the port. 

"If successful, the Arran service will operate via Troon-Brodick from Thursday, February 8 – Sunday, February 11. There will be an update provided on Wednesday (7th February) evening."

The move follows a week of chaos for the ferry service, led by last Friday's decision by owners Peel Ports to close Ardrossan Harbour's Irish berth for good.

The company said dive tests had revealed the berth was no longer fit for purpose, but the firm's announcement sparked a fiery response from both CalMac and politicians.

READ MORE: Ardrossan's MP issues plea for harbour to be taken into public ownership after berth closure

The long awaited Ardrossan Harbour upgrade remains in the balance as the Scottish Government awaits the results of a costing review.

If, or when, the harbour redevelopment begins, Troon will become the mainland port for the Brodick ferry until the upgrade work is completed.