Council leader supports call for full-time ferry

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

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The nine councillors who make up Argyll and Bute Council’s Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands Area Committee – including council leader Robin Currie – have unanimously agreed to support calls for a full-time ferry link between Campbeltown and the Ayrshire coast.

At a virtual meeting last Wednesday, the area committee agreed to request that at the council’s next full meeting in April, all councillors consider supporting a petition calling for a year-round freight and passenger ferry service from Campbeltown to Ardrossan.

The petition was submitted to the Scottish Parliament by South Kintyre councillor Donald Kelly and fellow Argyll First councillor Dougie Philand, in response to the consistent A83 road closures caused by landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful, and the suggested 10-year timescale for a permanent solution.

Councillor Kelly told the Courier this week: ‘It was fantastic that we received the full backing of the nine area committee councillors at last week’s meeting.

‘However, it is unfortunate that due to the Covid-19 situation, we were not able to have a hard copy of the petition circulating in the community as I am sure, given the tremendous verbal backing we have received for this service, the numbers signing the petition would have been significantly higher. Hopefully this will be taken into consideration when the committee discusses the petition.’

Councillor Kelly is appealing to all business owners and community groups, as well as members of the public, regardless of their political beliefs, to support the ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ which he insists should not be considered as an alternative or compromise to a permanent solution at the Rest and Be Thankful.

There is limited time remaining to show support as the petition will only be live on the Scottish Parliament’s website – at www.parliament.scot/gettinginvolved/petitions/campbeltownadrossanferry – until Wednesday March 17.

Councillor Kelly added: ‘This is the last opportunity to sign up, comment and share this petition – if you have already done this, please accept our thanks; if not, please consider doing so.’