Jamie McGrigor MSP, has joined Councillor Donald Kelly (South Kintyre) in calling for residents of Campbeltown and Kintyre to make their views on ferry services known to the Scottish Government in its current Draft Ferries Plan consultation.
The Draft Ferries Plan suggests, in relation to Kintyre, a ferry service connecting Campbeltown to the Scottish mainland at Troon in Ayrshire but only operating one or two days a week.
Councillor Donald Kelly says: ‘I would urge residents of Campbeltown and Kintyre to respond to the ferries consultation and argue strongly that we do want a ferry service between Campbeltown and the Ayrshire coast but that it must serve our community 5 days a week and not just the one or two days envisaged by the Scottish Government; this is clearly my position and the wish of large numbers of local residents and the business sector here. It is important that local people indicate to the Scottish Government that they want this service and it would be well utilised.
‘The Scottish Government should also consider, given that Kintyre’s isolated location means that it is considered by many to be a ‘mainland island’, applying RET to such a ferry route.
‘Any ferry service has to be fast, reliable and cost effective for it to be successful.’
Jamie McGrigor MSP, who has already, on behalf of Mid Kintyre constituents, urged the Transport Minister to retain the ferry link between Claonaig to Lochranza on Arran whose future is also under review in the Draft Ferries Plan, says:
‘Donald Kelly and I have consistently called for Campbeltown to have a ferry service linking it with the Ayrshire coast. This would offer travellers extra choice, could boost tourism in Kintyre and would offer hauliers an alternative way of transporting goods. And given all the problems caused by the closure of the A83 such a ferry service could be vitally important in future.’
Deadline: Responses to the Ferries Review (linked above) should be with the Scottish Government by 30th March 2012.
The section on Kintyre in the plan
Paragraphs to note here vare as follows:
- 35. Kintyre currently has a service from Tarbert that links the peninsula with Portavadie. This is an important connection which is not only used as an alternative to the extended road journey for people travelling from Kintyre to the central belt, but is used by people living around Portavadie who want to travel to Kintyre and from there to Oban. It is also popular in the summer with visitors and forms part of a strategic set of routes that facilitate tourism in the summer months. To remove the route could have implications for not just the immediate area but further afield.
- 136. Given the inaccessibility of the Kintyre peninsula via road, we have looked at the potential for a new ferry route between Campbeltown and the Scottish mainland. This would be subject to two smaller vessels being introduced on the Arran route. Specifically, a service operating between Kintyre, via Arran to Ardrossan (or Troon). The service would operate one or two days per week and allow for a meaningful day return trip to the Scottish mainland.
- 137. We very much welcome the introduction of West Coast Motors passenger only service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle. We would hope that any new service introduced would complement what is already provided.
- 138. The proposal is at an early stage and would be dependent on proposals going forward from other parts of the network. In particular the potential to introduce a two-vessel service on Arran’s principal route. It is therefore a longer-term proposal.
- 139. This Draft Ferries Plan does not consider a Campbeltown to Ballycastle ferry service. Given continued financial pressures, ferries budget priorities must remain on the existing contracts and committed vessel and harbour projects.
140. The community is asked for their views on the following proposals:
- To retain the Kintyre to Portavadie service as is;
- Whether a vehicle service as described between Campbeltown and the Scottish mainland (for example Troon) would be well used.