Councillor pushes ahead with year-round ferry plan

Councillor Donald Kelly is pushing for a year-round ferry service from Campbeltown to Ayrshire.
Councillor Donald Kelly is pushing for a year-round ferry service from Campbeltown to Ayrshire.

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South Kintyre councillor Donald Kelly has submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament in a bid to secure a year-round Campbeltown to Ayrshire ferry service.

The petition, submitted by Councillor Kelly and fellow Argyll First councillor Dougie Philand, is calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to provide an all year-round freight and passenger ferry service between Campbeltown and Ardrossan as a direct result of the regular disruption on the A83 road at the Rest and Be Thankful.

It cites the ‘projected timeframe of 10 years before a permanent solution’ at the Rest and Be Thankful as reason for the Scottish Government to act ‘as a matter of urgency’ in exploring the possibility of commissioning an all-year round ferry service.

Calling for a fast, reliable service, with road equivalent tariff (RET) applied to it, the councillors wrote: ‘We have campaigned relentlessly on behalf of the businesses and constituents of Argyll and Bute for a permanent solution to the A83 Rest and Be Thankful scenario.

‘Whilst recognising that the Scottish Government has at long last agreed to implement a permanent solution to this problem, the businesses and constituents of Argyll and Bute cannot suffer the continuous cost, uncertainty and upheaval for a further decade.

‘We are very concerned regarding the timescale of 10 years currently being mooted before this work will be completed. We cannot go on for the next 10 years hoping and praying that landslides at the Rest and Be Thankful will stop.’

The councillors are asking for at least a five-year contract to be awarded to enable the service to be properly evaluated.

Councillor Kelly added: ‘When the petition becomes live, it’s vital that as many people and businesses as possible support it. This is our chance to show the Scottish Government how important this service is to our community.’