Next step for ferry petition

Councillor Donald Kelly.
Councillor Donald Kelly.

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A Scottish Parliament petitions committee is to write to the Scottish Government about a ‘lifeline’ ferry link between Campbeltown and Ardrossan.

At a meeting last Wednesday, the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee discussed a petition for a year-round freight and passenger ferry service between the two ports, submitted by South Kintyre councillor Donald Kelly and fellow Argyll First councillor Dougie Philand.

The document was submitted 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, although councillors Kelly and Philand say it should not be considered as an alternative or compromise to a permanent solution to the issues at the Rest.

The Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee, which decides what actions should be taken for all public petitions which meet its rules, has agreed to contact the government to determine which vessels may be available outside the CalMac fleet, and to determine a possible timescale for a permanent route, when/if a vessel is available.

‘We are pleased that the committee is taking our request seriously and has considered how important it is to have a full-time alternative route to the Scottish mainland,’ said Councillor Kelly, ‘particularly given the current ongoing saga at the Rest and Be Thankful.

‘Hopefully the committee will receive a positive response from the government.’