Just 5 cancellations compared to 253! How Troon trumps Ardrossan’s reliability record

January 16, 2017

Just 15 service cancellations in three years: That’s the Port of Troon’s formidable record handling the P&O ferry service to Ireland.

In the final three years of P&O’s full service to Larne, which finished in 2010 although a reduced service ran until 2016, there were just 13 delayed sailings due to weather.

P&O’s sailing data will interest Arran islanders who faced extensive disruption and cancellations of their lifeline service over the festive period and into the New Year. It’s the continuation of a dismal record, which has seen the Ardrossan service cancelled as many as 253 times in a year.

ABP argues its Port of Troon promises a transformation in the quality of service for Arran islanders, who, during ABP’s recent drop in sessions, told of plans left in ruins, hospital appointments missed, businesses damaged and holidays spoiled by the frequent Ardrossan service failures.

Troon’s north facing harbour shelters the ferry terminal. This means vessels can berth in most conditions, leading to dramatically reduced cancellations. This was underlined recently when conditions were too rough for the ferry to stay overnight in Ardrossan so it was sent to Troon for safe harbour, where it safely berthed during a Force 10 Gale.

Without the construction of new breakwaters at Ardrossan, Troon will continue to offer vastly superior reliability of service.

ABP’s also plans to invest £8 million in brand new facilities at the port of Troon and to donate £50,000 every year to good causes on the island.

Stuart Cresswell, Manager of ABP’s Port of Troon and Ayr, said: “There has been a significant degree of misinformation reported about this question of reliability but the P&O data cuts through the spin and makes it plain. Troon would offer the people of Arran a transformation in the reliability of their lifeline ferry service. Crossings to Troon would continue to run in conditions where services to Ardrossan would have to be cancelled, with all the misery that entails for local people.

“The P&O service, which itself relocated from Ardrossan to reduce costs and improve reliability, operated with a 30-year-old vessel, the European Mariner. Just imagine the reliability of service possible at Troon with the purpose built modern vessels that are now under construction. P&O operated here for many years and cancellations were simply not a significant issue – this is a quality of service that Arran Islanders can sadly only dream of today.

“It is our view that short of the construction of new breakwaters, which there are no plans to do, Ardrossan will never be able to get close to Troon’s all-weather resilience.

“ABP has a proud record of investing in our ports and our services, which stands in stark contrast in Ardrossan. We fully intend to continue that tradition, starting with brand new £8m facilities at no cost to the taxpayer. This is another reason why Troon represents a better deal not only for the people of Arran but the Scottish Government as well.”