THE busiest road in Fairlie could be closed for WEEKS later this year, the News can reveal.

Talks are underway over a plan to shut the A78, the main route for members of the public and heavy goods vehicles, for repair works.

The possibility of a closure has been raised during discussions between Transerv, who maintain the road network on behalf of Transport Scotland, and independent councillor Ian Murdoch.

Authorities say the stretch of road is in need of urgent attention and a plan for the village to cope during works is currently being devised by Transerv's structural maintenance team.

It is understood that the scale of the work required is because of a number of underlying factors, including drainage issues under properties and utilities.

Discussions are taking place to decide whether to carry out a holding treatment or the full remedial works, which would mean a total road closure through Fairlie for a number of weeks.

Cllr Murdoch has written to Transerv highlighting his own concerns.

He said: "The trunk road between Hunterston and Wemyss Bay is in very poor condition in many areas.

"The stretch through Fairlie, some parts of the Main Road in Largs, the straights at St Phillan's and the Meigle, as well as other parts, are all in need of attention.

"I am very concerned about the poor condition of this trunk road."

Works scheduled for April include resurfacing from Ashcraigs to Knock Castle, which will involve full road closures, although Transerv has now given an assurance to Cllr. Murdoch that the works will not take place during the Easter weekend.

Speaking about the Fairlie situation. Cllr. Murdoch said: "My biggest concern would be a road closure for any significant amount of time. "Would it be 24 hours seven days a week? Would it be a partial closure? There are still a lot of questions but the scheme itself has still to be designed and we will have to wait until then to get more detail.

"It would appear to have the potential to be a long closure, and it could have drastic consequences for people travelling from West Kilbride and Largs, as well as villagers.

"It is bad enough when the road is shut for one or two days but the impact on the local community here could be awful.

"Transerv might come back with a plan to avoid closing the road, but it is a big project that is being discussed at the highest level.

"I understand that these works need to take place, but they must be done with minimal impact and disruption to the local community and tourism."