An MSP has written to every household on Cumbrae asking for their views on the removal of the Largs – Cumbrae ferry season ticket.  

Following a number of complaints from constituents regarding the new Ar Turas ticketing system, which has resulted in the effective removal of the monthly season ticket option on the Cumbrae – Largs ferry route, West of Scotland MSP Jamie Greene has decided to write to every household to get a full understanding of the impact.  

Largs and Millport Weekly News: MSP Jamie GreeneMSP Jamie Greene (Image: Jamie Greene)

The letter, which will land on doorsteps in the coming days, provides a non-partisan overview of the overall situation, a survey which can be completed in person or online, and copies of correspondence Jamie Greene has had with the Transport Minister, CalMac and Transport Scotland.   

Mr Greene urges residents of Cumbrae to respond to the survey in order to make their views heard on this issue.  

He said: “After being inundated with complaints from constituents about the new Ar Turas ticketing system and the removal of the Largs – Cumbrae season ticket, I have decided to contact residents directly to get a fuller understanding of the situation.  

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

“For over a year I have been urging the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland to look again at this issue but unfortunately this has been unsuccessful.

“I am therefore urging residents of Cumbrae to respond to the survey landing on their doorsteps in the coming days to give both myself, local representatives, and the Scottish Government an idea of how the new ferry ticketing system is impacting those who rely on it.  

“I look forward to receiving their responses."

The survey includes questions over whether islanders have taken advantage of the ‘season ticket’ offering in the past, and whether they been adversely affected by the removal of the season ticket.

Chief Executive of CalMac Robbie Drummond said in his correspondence with Mr Greene: "The Largs-Cumbrae route benefits from RET which discounts the cost of travel on this route. When RET was introduced one of the changes that came with its intoroduction was that discounted tickets should be phased out and no longer sold. The reason for this decision by Transport Scotland was to ensure that there was not doublt discounting on tickets given that RET was providing year round discounted fares or all passengers, In effect, the logic was that there should be a discount on top of an already discounted fee.

"Since RET started some passengers have been benefitting from double discounting for a period of time, but these are now in the process of being phased out in line with the rules of RET.

"I sympathise with the position outlined by your constituents, but pricing decisions are taken by Transport Scotland and there we are now bringing fares into line with RET by phasing out the additonal discount."

Cal Mac have been contacted for comment.