A ROW has erupted after a local MSP's claim that a ferry timetable was stopping people getting to work on time was rubbished by a rival politician.

Tory transport spokesman Jamie Greene has been left red-faced after claiming the first vessel leaving Cumbrae was too late to allow workers to reach Glasgow for a 9am start.

He said the Scottish Government’s refusal to consider changes to the Largs-Cumbrae timetable was impacting on employment opportunities for islanders.

However, Cunninghame North SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson has angrily hit back - and called the MSP's comments 'complete nonsense'.

Mr Gibson said: "Once again the Tories' transport spokesperson is factually wrong.

"It’s not even a question of political differences with him, he just does not bother to check the facts before commenting.

“The first ferry from Cumbrae arrives in Largs at 7.10am, with a train departing at 7.22am arriving in Glasgow at 8.21am - and another train departing Largs at 7.42am and arriving in Glasgow at 8.35am.

"So it is complete nonsense to say that people who live in Cumbrae cannot get to Glasgow in time to start work.

"Regarding a change in the timetable, that is a matter for Transport Scotland and Calmac, in consultation with ferry user groups.

"Does Mr Greene really believe that the transport minister deliberates over every ferry timetable?

“Mr Greene seems to think his job is just to criticise the SNP Government, often as we have seen, even for matters not under its control.

"Perhaps he should praise the UK Tory Government he supports so blindly? Or is finding something good to say about Theresa May’s Government too difficult?”

Mr Greene had originally said he would fight for the timetable to be changed so that Cumbrae residents could have employment opportunities opened up.

He had told the News: “It is quite astonishing that no island impact assessment was undertaken before the timetable decision was made. The Scottish Government have side-stepped because it was easier to do so.

“It is extremely unfortunate that the Scottish Government won’t allow just a minor change to the timetable that will benefit so many on Cumbrae. As it stands, the first ferry of the day isn’t early enough to allow residents to board the train to Glasgow in time for a 9am start.

"We need to see our island communities get a better deal. The point of the Islands Bill was to look after their specific needs. The fact important clauses were side-stepped at the first instance raises some serious concern.”