September ferry news from Katy Clark MSP


22nd September

Scottish Labour MSP Katy Clark today called on the Scottish Government to take “urgent compulsory measures” to make progress on the delayed upgrades to Ardrossan Harbour.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, she noted the “failure by Peel, the landowners, to agree a deal” had “led to a delay of more than four years”.
She added that it was “islanders on Arran, those who use ferry services and the Ardrossan people and economy who suffer”.

Katy, who represents West Scotland, has repeatedly lobbied the Scottish Government on the issue and called for the harbour to be taken into public ownership to speed up the works and reduce costs.

Speaking afterwards, she commented: “Islanders are saying enough is enough. They still don’t even know what will be finished first: the delayed Glen Sannox vessel or the delayed upgrade to the harbour it’s supposed to run from.
“This is one of the busiest passenger routes in the network. A prolonged move to Troon will impact local supply chains, the viability of local taxi businesses and other transport links, and so there needs to be a clear roadmap with islanders consulted every step of the way.
“I have continually pressed the Scottish Government to push Peel to reach terms. It is clear they must now take compulsory measures so this upgrade work can finally be completed.”

The clip of the exchange between Katy Clark and Jenny Gilruth is available from 11.59am during today’s proceedings on the Parliament TV website

In a previous statement Katy said, “I will be pressing the Scottish Government on what specific progress has been made and to ask the harbour is taken fully into public ownership if further delays are anticipated.”



27th September

Katy Clark has called on the Scottish Government to permanently discount CalMac ferry services for those eligible for a Young Scot National Entitlement Card.

In response to a parliamentary question from the Scottish Labour MSP, whose West Scotland region includes Arran and Cumbrae, Transport Secretary Jenny Gilruth indicated this could be considered as part of the Scottish Government’s upcoming Fair Fares review.

Presently, islanders who are eligible for a Young Scot National Entitlement Card currently receive two free return journeys to the mainland each year.

However, Katy, who has repeatedly campaigned for cheaper fares for island, described this as an “inequity” given bus travel is free for under-22s.

She commented: “The Scottish Government has said it wants to attract and retain young people and young families to the islands.
“However, with season tickets now phased out, many islanders will be forking out more in the long term for the privilege of travelling home, which will do nothing to stem the exodus of young people to the mainland.

“Free bus travel for young Scots is a good thing, but there is an inequity when predominantly mainlanders benefit from such a scheme but daily ferry users pay full price most of the year.”

Following a separate parliamentary question, Katy also secured a commitment from the minister to introduce a convenience multi-journey ticket on the Largs-Cumbrae route.

Katy added: “The Fair Fares review must now be used to introduce a renewed multi-ticketing scheme for all islanders, along with a permanent discount for young ferry users.”

Featured image shows Ardrossan Harbour, credit: