With all the current 'stooshie' over what Peel Ports plan to do with the Hunterston site, I wonder whether any of our local or national representatives have approached them to see to see if it were possible for a part of the site to be developed as a ferry terminal for Cumbrae?
In the 1970s when the roll on roll off ferries were first mooted, all local opinion and marine expertise pointed to Fairlie as being the optimal location for a terminal with a Cumbrae base at the south end of Ballochmartin Bay. Little did we know at the time, however, that the powers that be had already decided that the iron ore terminal would be located as we now find it and the rest is history as they say.
As an iron ore terminal it did not last long and the oil platform construction even less. Now the coal is no longer shipped in and the turbines and conveyors and cranes are dismantled as I speak, I think, that looking as far as possible towards Cumbrae's future, the Hunterston site offers an ideal solution to the hugely increased volume of vehicular and foot traffic since the introduction of RET, which has resulted in increasing problems of parking in Largs, long ferry traffic queues on both sides of the water during the summer season and cyclists dicing with death on the three mile stretch of road between Millport and the current slipway.
If Cumbrae is to survive as a community we need much better access for lifeline services and a long term vision of what is needed.
Currently the ferry service shore facilities are really not fit for purpose and as time goes on lifeline services will become more critical to island communities.
At the Peel Ports location, there is plenty of space for ferry traffic queues and for parking and, as it is far enough out of Fairlie village, it would not impinge on what limited facilities there are there, though there would likely be an increase in the volume of traffic passing through. 
Buses pass the Peel Ports road end regularly and Fairlie rail station is on the route to Largs. There could even be a 'Fairlie South Beach' train station as the rail tracks already exist from the main line to the port.
On the Cumbrae side a suitable landing site would be identified, probably at some point between The Wishing Well and Lion Rock.
If any cycle path is needed it would be only a short stretch between the Field Studies Centre and, at the furthest, the Wishing Well, a distance of less than a mile. In addition, the bus service would be able to cover the West Bay area of Millport, a part of the town currently not served by any service. 
Shore facilities would need to be constructed such as the slipway of jetty itself, a bus turning area, parking, a small CalMac office and toilets and a queuing area, but these should not present insurmountable obstructions.
Transport Scotland, the Scottish Parliament, Peel Ports and Cal Mac should get together to look at this as a possibility for a long term solution to the current problems within our ferry service.
I am sure there will be plenty of objections raised about this suggestion including cost, weather issues, and marine traffic but that should not prevent it being given some consideration.
Fergus Boyle 
Downcraig Ferry
Isle of Cumbrae