COUNCILLORS have joined forces to call for later ferry sailings on the Largs to Cumbrae route to help boost the local economy.

Conservative Todd Ferguson and independent Ian Murdoch believe the current 8.15pm last sailing six night per week is hindering businesses and people.

A later boat runs on a Friday night, however the service ends before 8.30pm every other night of the week.

Councillor Ferguson believes even an hour, especially at the weekends, would give a big boost to restaurants and pubs both on the island and the mainland.

He explained: “It is ridiculous to stop so early considering the journey takes less than ten minutes.

“I would want the last sailing moved to after 9pm, which would allow people to go to things on the mainland and give people the chance to attend sporting events and functions.

“I would be happy to lose one of the sailings during the day for it.

“If it allows people to stay on the island a bit longer too then that would be massive for Cumbrae’s economy all year round.

“In these tough financial times, anything we can do to stimulate people to get out and spend money must be looked at."

Councillor Ian Murdoch also backed the move.

He said: “CalMac runs the late ferry on the Friday and I would like to see them adding that on a Saturday too.

“What happens to people from Cumbrae who want to go to Glasgow for a show? They have no choice but to stay there.

“That is a huge expense. Later sailings would benefit everyone and I would urge CalMac to look into it.”

A CalMac spokesperson said the company was willing to look into any new ideas regarding the ferry timetable.