Argyll and Bute and South Ayrshire Councils support potential Argyll to Ayrshire ferry service

Published Date: 

30 Nov 2012 - 10:00

The exciting opportunities an Argyll to Ayrshire ferry service could offer are being highlighted by Argyll and Bute Council and South Ayrshire Council in a letter to the Transport Secretary, Keith Brown. It comes just before the Scottish Government Ferries Plan is published.

The two councils are wholeheartedly committed to supporting the development of a Campbeltown to Troon route and working with Scottish Government officials and Associated British Ports as the owner of Troon port. The two local authorities are also looking to explore interest in a triangular route with the Northern Ireland Executive.

Deputy Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, John Semple said, “I firmly believe an Argyll – Ayrshire Service would bring significant benefits in both directions. We both have much in common and also much which would complement the existing strengths and opportunities which our communities have.

“I believe there would also be significant economic benefit connecting growing sectors in Argyll with an accessible labour pool and supply chain capability via Troon, in particular for off-shore renewable energy, food production, whisky and tourism. A new service could also relieve freight pressures on the A83 and reduce transport emissions if it has the right pricing structure and timetable.”

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “This opportunity could open up some terrific benefits for both Argyll and Bute and South Ayrshire, linking two popular visitor destinations and expanding what we can offer to tourists coming to Scotland.

“It could also make a very real difference for local communities, creating increased employment and economic opportunities that are not currently feasible given the restrictions of the existing infrastructure. We fully support the development of this route and will continue to work with our colleagues in Argyll and Bute and at Associated British Ports to move this exciting project forward.”

Both councils will submit a detailed case on the potential of an Argyll – Ayrshire ferry service to Transport Scotland.