FERRY operator Caledonia MacBrayne hope to relocate the service between Ardrossan and Brodick to Troon during harbour upgrades.

It was announced at the beginning of the month that upgrades at Ardrossan Harbour will see the current berth at the harbour realigned, a new linkspan installed, a new terminal building and a number of other enhancements.

And CalMac are keen to see the ferry have an ‘alternative departure and arrival point’ whilst the work is carried out, however, locals in North Ayrshire say that any move to Troon ‘sets a dangerous precedent’.

Troon Community Councillor, Bob Pollock would be ‘delighted’ to welcome the ferry to the town.

He explained: “I would be delighted, and there would be undoubted benefits for both communities if the Arran Ferry does come to Troon.

“The town has an excellent range of supermarkets, specialist shops, restaurants and coffee houses for visitors from the island as well as great road, rail and air links. Troon and Arran are both recognised tourist destinations and linking the two makes eminent sense.

“The fact that Troon offers a much better sheltered harbour is also likely to lead to less disruptions to sailings which will also encourage more people to travel during periods of adverse weather.”

An ABP Spokesperson, said: “In the event Ardrossan Harbour needs to close for several months to enable major works, the Ayrshire community will need to pull together to ensure that people of Arran retain their lifeline link to the mainland.

“ABP at Troon will do everything it can to help both the community on the Island and CalMac during any such period.”

Cllr Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, added: “We have always supported Troon Harbour as a first-class facility and I’m sure that Ayrshire will pull together to ensure the links to Arran are maintained.”

Detailed feasibility studies are ‘currently being undertaken’ by CalMac into the ‘suitability of the various options’ which will be presented to Transport Scotland.