Meeting papers - 7 December 2021 - Ardrossan Harbour Taskforce

Meeting minutes


Graeme Dey MSP - Co Chair – Minister for Transport (GD)
Cllr J Cullinane - Co Chair - North Ayrshire Council (JC)
Bill Calderwood - Arran Ferry Committee Secretary (BC)
Iain Thomson - Arran Ferry Committee – Chairman (IT)
Karen Yeomans - Executive Director - Growth & Investment - North Ayrshire Council (KY)
Alasdair Laurenson - Senior Manager – Growth & Investment– North Ayrshire Council (AL)
Colin Bradford - Regeneration Manager– North Ayrshire Council (CB)
Gary Hodgson - Peel Ports Group - Chief Operations Officer (GH)
Lewis McIntyre - Peel Ports Group –Managing Director, Port Services (LMcI)
Doug Coleman - Peel Ports Group - Project Manager (DC)
Pauline Blackshaw - Head of Service Delivery Planning, CFL (CalMac) (PB)
Danielle Neutgens - Programme Manager, Operational Planning, CFL (CalMac) (DN)
Lauren McEwan - Operational Planning Manager– CFL (CalMac) (LMcE)
Kevin Hobbs - CEO of CMAL (KH)
Ruairidh Campbell - CMAL Liaison Project Manager (RC)
Graeme McGinty - CMAL – Project Manager (GMcG)
Chris Wilcock - TS – Head of Ferries Unit (CW)
David Torrance - TS – Head of Contracts, Procurement and Projects (DT)
Caroline Connelly - TS – Head of Infrastructure Branch(Secretariat to Task Force) (CC)


Frances Pacitti – Transport Scotland
Kenneth Gibson MSP
James Anderson – CMAL
Robbie Drummond - CalMac
Craig Hatton – NAC
Andy Crossan – CMAL

Welcome and Introductions

Mr Dey welcomed everyone to the meeting and confirmed that the Task Force would be from today and future meetings: co-chaired with Cllr Joe Cullinane from North Ayrshire Council. Mr Dey welcomed Cllr Cullinane in this role which is very much welcomed.

Apologies were conveyed and noted.

It was noted that the Task Force last met on 17 February 2021 and therefore all attendees were asked to introduce themselves as some were new to attending.

Ardrossan Steering Group Update

Legal and commercial arrangements

CW confirmed that TS and PPG have had a series of discussions on the Legal/Commercial Agreements.  There remain a number of areas to work through acknowledging progress has been made, however discussions will continue into the new year to find an agreeable solution. GH accepted CW’s summary of discussions and that the project has been delayed due to the commercial arrangements.GH confirmed that the hope was to progress to tender stage in the near future. CW stated that moving to tender stage was an option TS would be prepared to explore but certainty on the commercial arrangements were required in advance of this. 

Technical Sub Groups Update

Each of the sub groups provided an update:

Passenger Access System

RC: advised that the concept design and alignment of the PAS with the terminal building were nearing completion including drawings. Discussions on PAS alignment to vessels being stern or bow in were ongoing but are expected to be agreed in due course. PAS design and documents would be part of the package submitted to PPG when progressing to tender stage. RC confirmed that lessons had been learned from Brodick as well as feedback from the communities on the length of the PAS which is why a shorter PAS is the preferred design option.

Landside Infrastructure

AL: advised that the preferred design and layout of the terminal building had been completed as well as marshalling area/passenger facilities etc. A public consultation will be undertaken on this  following progress on discussions between PPG and TS, and confirmation that the project would proceed to tender.

  • IoAFC raised the issue of public facilities being available for Hauliers during out of the terminal building core hours. CFL will consider this and respond to IoAFC
  • AL advised that a provision for parking trailers for Hauliers would be considered as part of the landside infrastructure works, and engagement with IoAFC would be undertaken.
  • IoAFC raised the issue of parking for Hauliers currently and why this provision was recently withdrawn by PPG.  PPG will investigate and respond to IoAFC.
  • Post Meeting Note: Response received from PPG regarding parking provision for Hauliers at Ardrossan shared with IoAFC
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

KH confirmed that the LNG kit and tank has been completed.  This will be fabricated in Europe with around 12months for delivery with storage arranged prior to installation at Ardrossan port.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Supply

DN confirmed that a procurement exercise was currently being undertaken for the supply of LNG. This is expected to be completed in the new year and confirmed to TS. DN also stated that there was no update on the licenses/consents for LNG as PPG input’s is required.

Service Continuity Planning

DN confirmed that CFL will be undertaking a public consultation on Troon service timetables early in 2022 which will include integrated travel and connectivity with other transport modes such as rail services including a shuttle bus provision. This consultation is to seek the communities input and feedback as this will inform any final decisions made on service provisions.

Communications Group

CC confirmed that the group has been working with both CFL and NAC on the public consultations, as well as progressing all other communication work such as updating the TS webpage with Q&A and answering correspondence.  CC advised that the Arran Ferry Action Group (AFAG) had submitted 78 questions to the Task Force and that a response would be issued in due course.

  • GD commented that a lot of work has been undertaken in the last ten months and members agreed that more frequent communications were required to share this with the communities. A communications event planner will be published in due course.
  • IoAFC commented that the continuation of ferry services on the route were paramount, stating that due to recent service disruptions there was ongoing frustration and economic damage to Arran as some businesses were finding it extremely difficult as not getting essential supplies. These were recognised as valid points by GD however not all of these issues were related to the port infrastructure.
  • In response; PPG stated that the port infrastructure was beyond its life expiry and that around £100,000 worth of maintenance/repairs works were to be carried out in the near future. This will mean the closure of the Arran berth and Peel will engage with CFL on the period of the outage and to minimise any further disruption to services where practicable. IoAFC requested details of the planned repairs and to be involved in the discussion around timescales ahead of any work to ensure service interruptions were minimised
Marine Works

GH confirmed that this work-stream had been paused to allow PPG to focus on the Legal/Commercial Arrangements; however this can be resumed should progressing to Tender stage be agreed.

Vessel Update

KH advised that the delivery of the MV Glen Sannox has been confirmed as between July to September 2022 and that an update on progress is expected before the end of the year to Scottish Ministers.

GD confirmed that Ferguson Marine is doing everything possible to deliver the new vessel within the reported timescales. CC noted that CFL crew familiarisation will be undertaken following delivery with anticipated operational deployment thereafter.

  • IoAFC raised the question of the Islay vessels being able to berth in Ardrossan and whether this would be possible. KH stated that this was an outstanding query as part of the Marine Works and can be considered once the works are resumed.

Troon Infrastructure Project - Update

CC acknowledged that there was growing interest in the Troon port works which commenced in July of this year and these are progressing well. The marine works will be delivered by contractor George Leslie Ltd in partnership with Associated British Ports (ABP) and funded by Transport Scotland; and includes new fenders and a suspended concrete deck, expected to be completed by Spring 2022. The works will also include infrastructure upgrades including a temporary terminal building and passenger’s facilities, car parking and marshalling area; expected completion by Summer 2022.  All of these works will support the operation of ferry services when they are temporarily diverted to Troon during the construction phase of the Ardrossan project including any periods of disruption.

The Troon working group which comprises of ABP, Transport Scotland, CFL and CMAL will share the layout of the landside infrastructure with key stakeholders once a preferred design is reached.

Service continuity plans for when services temporarily relocate to Troon are currently being developed which includes vessel deployment options.

CC advised that further communications on this important work-stream will be published on the TS webpage as the project progresses.

Next steps

  1. Service Continuity Plans/Timetables – TS to review and approve
  2. Communications – publish events planner and updated Q&A for Ardrossan and Troon projects
  3. Consultations – CalMac & NAC (Landside) – to progress both
  4. Legal/Commercial arrangements – TS/PPG to progress urgently

Any other business

No issues raised.

Date of next meeting

Date of next meeting to be scheduled in February 2022.

Published Date 5 Jan 2022 Type Mode of transport