LARGS councillors have joined forces to encourage residents to take part in an important consultation around the future of the Cumbrae ferry.

Communities on both sides of the crossing are being asked to comment on two potential traffic management options for both the Largs terminal and Cumbrae slip.

Each offer changes to the way the Largs to Cumbrae ferry operates for passengers and how it impacts locals.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, of the ruling Labour administration, says it is an opportunity to address some of the problems that have plagued the route at peak periods.

He said: “All four councillors have worked on this, and after consultations with local groups it is now time for the public to give their opinion.

“We hope this will improve the experience of people waiting for the ferry, which is important as we expect to have increased demand this year due to staycations.

“We have had a number of problems in recent years with ferry queues and we hope these proposals will work to relieve some of those.”

Independent Councillor Ian Murdoch says key changes need to be made to give a better experience to passengers – especially on the Largs side.

He explained: “It is vitally important that as many people as possible take part in the consultation on both sides of the water.

“While I have a preferred option for the Cumbrae side, the difficulty for me is getting the best solution for Largs as it could have major implications on the way the town operates.

“I have always been a supporter of a priority lane and a booking system, along with a larger ferry. These would go a long way to easing the problems and reducing the need extensive infrastructure.

“I have and will continue to oppose the one-way proposals north on Bath Street. I don’t think it is practical and will cause all sorts of problems.”

Conservative Tom Marshall believes a bigger ferry at the busiest times of the year can solve a lot of the problems without any major changes.

He said: “I welcome the opportunity for residents of both Cumbrae and Largs to be involved in the planned traffic arrangements for the ferry.

“My view is that the easiest solution to this problem is for CalMac to put on another larger ferry when it is busiest.

“After all there are almost 800,000 passengers per year to Cumbrae - it is obviously a profitable route.

“I believe the onus is on CalMac to resolve the problem rather than turning part of the town centre into a large car park.”

SNP Councillor Alan Hill says the changes will have a major impact on Largs and Cumbrae - and urged everyone to make themselves heard.

He said: “Access in and around the ferry terminal has always caused problems and both the council and CalMac are committed to try and find solutions.

“At busy times, traffic can stretch from Bath Street all the way to Charles Street, causing tailbacks and disruption locally.

“A couple of different proposals are now on the table to help alleviate some of this and it is important that local people, especially those who live close to the terminal take part.

“It is very important that those who use the ferry regularly also feed into the process."

The online public consultation is now live and will continue until Wednesday May 26. It can be accessed at

For those unable to access the consultation online, a paper copy of the presentation and questionnaire can be requested at or on 01294 310000.