Stena Line is currently reviewing its connection plans to and from its new £80m Loch Ryan port near Cairnryan, due to open in the Autumn.
Paul Grant, Route Director for Stena Line Scotland-Northern Ireland said:
“We have invested £80m in providing a state-of –the-art port and terminal facility for our customers. Loch Ryan is the UK’s third largest gateway and plays a key role in facilitating the free movement of passengers and goods between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“Improvements in the road and rail infrastructure are not within our gift and while we welcome the limited schedule of road upgrades on the A77 and A75, unfortunately support for rail links in the area seems to be lacking.
“While our plans have yet to be finalised, taking passengers south to head back north again doesn’t seem logical as it increases overall journey times and rail facilities at Stranraer continue to remain sparse. We are still in discussion with ScotRail, but at this stage we are considering a number of options including longer coach transfers to Girvan or Ayr.
“While this option is not our preferred one, in the absence of any commitment to improve rail links in the region, the alternatives are limited. As an organisation Stena Line takes a long term view when it comes to its investment strategy.
“The role the company plays in maintaining and improving the link between Scotland and Northern Ireland is supported at the highest level within the organisation, hence the £80m port investment.
“Reciprocal support for the travel infrastructure around the port would be welcomed wholeheartedly by Stena Line but at present this support seems to be limited to a number of road projects only. Over the years rail and ferry collaboration has been a feature of our business in the region and it would be disappointing to see this connection fade away.”