AN AMBITIOUS call to lower the speed limit on Cumbrae has been made to improve road safety for drivers and pedestrians on a key route on the island.

Concerns have been raised about the speed of some vehicles on Ferry Road, which runs across the hills between Millport and the CalMac ferry slipway.

Island-based North Coast councillor Todd Ferguson says residents have raised concern at speeding on the road, which has an advisory limit of 30mph.

He said: “Farmers along the route have raised concerns with me about the speed of traffic, and feel the need to remind people that although it’s national speed limit, cars shouldn’t be doing that.

“There is a lot of additional traffic on the island, especially during the summer, with pedestrians and cyclists along that road.

“There needs to be more awareness on the island of what is an acceptable speed, to make sure there are no unwanted accidents.

“I have asked the police to make themselves visible and to try and enforce the speed over the next few months.”

Councillor Ferguson believes a move to lower the speed limit on the whole island would be difficult, but believes it would make its roads safer.

He explained: “I would prefer the whole island to be a 30 or a 40 zone, and it’s hard to get beyond those speeds anyway.

“Most of the roads on the island have very little pavements or verges, so getting out the way of cars can be a challenge.

“There is very little reason to be rushing around on Cumbrae, and the boats are plentiful, so you’re not going to get stranded.

“I would support a speed change across the whole island, and I think it would make sense and be supported by visitors and locals alike.”

Fellow ward councillor Alan Hill, cabinet member for the islands, says he too would back a reduction in speed limits - but believes enforcing the rule would be difficult.

He said: “Anything that makes the roads safer is a good idea, but the issue on Cumbrae would be one of enforceability.

“Any decisions made would have to be taken in discussion with police, to find out what are the likely risks and what’s achievable.

“It’s fair to say on Cumbrae there aren’t many roads that you can get to 60mph, but I do know people racing down for the ferry can be an issue.

“You just never know what is around the next corner, and drivers on the island should always be expecting to meet a cyclist or a walker.

“As a tourism island, we cannot afford to take any chances when it comes to the safety of people who come here.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “Our roads team have not received any request for this at present.  If this matter is raised directly with us we will investigate it further.

“Any amendment of the speed limit would be subject to the promotion of a Traffic Regulation Order and a statutory consultation exercise.”