CONTINGENCY plans are being drawn up to protect Largs businesses from the impact of major road closures planned for next spring.

Councillors are trying to make sure that essential road repairs in the town will avoid busy tourist periods - avoiding Easter holiday gridlock that has crippled traders in recent years.

Amey, who recently regained the contract for maintenance of the trunk road, say they have two major road repair jobs to be carried out in 2021.

The road sections which will be affected are Beachway to the Pierhead - a stretch which includes Nardini's, Room and The Three Reasons - and Anthony Road to Largs Yacht Haven.

With both routes being major entry points into the town centre, it is hoped that works will be moved to outwith the peak of the tourist season.

Labour councillor Alex Gallagher told the News that Largs councillors are pleading for the works to take place overnight - or outwith the busy tourism season - to help the economy.

He said: "The works have to be carried out and we held pre-preparatory talks to provide our own thoughts.

"Unfortunately the works will involve closures but we are hoping to keep these to a minimum.

"We have still to discuss the diversions which will be necessary to put in place."

In 2018 resurfacing works on the A78 over three successive weekends around the Easter holidays cost local shops, cafes, bars and restaurants tens of thousands of pounds in takings.

Cllr Gallagher said that by having the early talks with the Amey it is hoped that such closure conflicts can be avoided.

He said: "The road closures have to be sensibly handled and the diversions will have to be well thought out."

An Amey spokesperson said: “Amey this week began consulting elected members and the community council on proposed 2021 resurfacing schemes for the A78 through Largs. Working with such community representatives, we hope that the views of our customers and businesses throughout the town are adequately represented.

“Following discussions with councillors, initial planning for these essential schemes is back to back weekends in February. This is ahead of the peak tourism period and follows the festive shopping season. We support communities and businesses as they begin to recover at this time. It may be necessary to close the trunk road and implement local diversions. As part of this consultation process, we would invite residents to either speak to their elected members, or contact us directly by emailing”

Cllr Ian Murdoch added: "I asked for work to be completed before March if possible as it is during the spring weekends that the town starts to get busy. We have raised concerns on how it will affect the access to the town and how it will affect impact the access to Haylie Brae and Fairlie, as well as town centre businesses and the likes of Largs Yacht Haven."