CALLS have been made to give priority to island residents on the CalMac ferry after local were left 'stranded' on the mainland.

The long queues in recent weeks, pictured, have been an ongoing headache for people living in Millport with the ferry even suspending foot passengers recently due to the deluge of daytrippers.

Largs councillor Ian Murdoch says the scenes cannot be repeated and put forward measures he believes can solve the problem.

He said: "Introducing a priority lane seems to be a no brainer for me so locals and deliveries can be escorted straight on to the ferry.

"Imagine if you have to go to a hospital appointment or a funeral or it is essential goods needed to stock a Millport business.

"There definitely needs to be more priority for islanders. It seems ridiculous that you are stuck at the end of a lengthy queue at Charles Street to get home. We need to make sure that situations like this never happen again.

"The other important aspect is that there could be essential or perishable goods which need to be transported right away. Some kind of new arrangement needs to be put in place.

"We are at an advanced stage in discussions regarding the reconfiguration of the ferry traffic queue on both Cumbrae and in Largs.

"We really need an online booking system to be introduced. Islanders are tired of waiting and this problem has been well documented. It is astonishing it still hasn't been solved."

Conservative councillor Tom Marshall called for CalMac to 'move into the 21st century' and set up an online booking system.

He has now raised concerns with assistant executive director Andrew Fraser.

He said: "Efforts have gone into encouraging more visitors to come by train with a joint rail and ferry ticket from Glasgow in recent years, but we have seen a vast increase in motor traffic heading over to the Isle of Cumbrae via the ferry.

"Things have changed and we need to react."