Perfect storm causes a gridlock in Brodick
There were growing calls this week for an urgent solution to be found after Brodick was left gridlocked last Saturday by ferry traffic.
Cancellations and fog delays to the ferries, which lasted most of the morning, saw huge queues of cars, bikes, motorhomes and vans along the shorefront as far along as the Book and Card Centre.
And it was not only ferry traffic caught up in the queues but cars and other vehicles trying to head for Lamlash and further south. Traffic coming from the Co-op and other businesses also faced lengthy delays as police tried to help clear the road.
Much of the blame was levelled at the position of the car ticket kiosk at the new ferry terminal. This was questioned as being too near the main road even before the ferry terminal was built.
Since the terminal opened there have been several instances of cars spilling on to the main road, but Saturday’s incident was the worse drivers, and those going about their business in Brodick, had seen.
Many residents took to social media to vent their frustration as well as trying to come up with a solution. ‘They should swap the entrance and the exit for the ferry, bad design fault,’ was one suggestion.
Another said: ‘Just wondering if they could move the queue into Market Road when it’s busy, so cars won’t block the main road?’
Caledonian MacBrayne blamed a ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances for causing the long traffic queues. A spokesman said: ‘It was a combination of one sailing being delayed due to the fog so two sailings worth of traffic arrived at the same time and the fact that there were temporary traffic lights 25m south of the port entrance which compounded the situation.’
The Banner contacted North Ayrshire Council but it said ferry traffic management was the responsibility of CalMac in liaison with Police Scotland.
Arran police sergeant Dougie Robertson said: ‘Police Scotland received two calls regarding the congestion on the A841 at Brodick on Saturday morning and as such local police attended to assist with traffic management.
‘Several factors combining resulted in the tailback, which was cleared as quickly as possible.’
Cars were queued the length of Brodick shorefront.