Letter: Kintyre needs an Ireland car ferry

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Sir,

MSP Michael Russell has voiced the concerns of both residents and businesses of Mid-Argyll and Kintyre, at the continuing risks of road closures at the Rest and be Thankful.

Clearly a permanent solution will be neither simple, nor without
considerable cost.

Our MP Brendan O’Hara, has expressed concern that Northern Ireland will
be advantaged in comparison to Scotland under Brexit proposals.

He claimed that Northern Ireland ‘will be in a very strong position to attract jobs and investment at the expense of Scotland.’

Both the above matters will have a detrimental effect on the economy of Mid-Argyll and Kintyre.

At the same time, Visit Scotland has closed the main tourist offices in this area.  The result of this is likely to be a reduction in tourist numbers, and further loss of business.

In the years 1997-8-9, a limited summer vehicle ferry service, to and from Northern Ireland, was used by both  commercial and private traffic, as well as tour buses and caravans.

This was  considered to have benefited local businesses by up to 25 per cent in turnover during the period of its operation.

This was despite several alterations to the intended  schedule.  For two weeks in the month of June each year of operation, the ferry  boat was taken off the route to provide a service to the Isle of Man, for the TT races.

In 2007 a press release, issued on behalf of the SNP stated that ‘the
future economic success of Kintyre,’ was dependent on the restoration of a
Campbeltown to Ballycastle vehicle ferry link.

It further pledged that if elected, as the  governing party in Scotland, an SNP administration would reinstate such a  service on an all year basis.

I have written to both of the above Argyll representatives. requesting
their co-operation, to have this ferry service restored.

Ian Y. Macintyre,

Tarbert.