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Consultants who were commissioned by the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive are currently undertaking a Scottish transport appraisal guidance appraisal of the proposed Campbeltown to Ballycastle ferry service. It is anticipated that the completed STAG appraisal will be delivered shortly. When the final report becomes available, ministers in Scotland and Northern Ireland will consider the costs and benefits that are associated with the proposed service and will reach a decision about the way forward.
We expect the STAG appraisal to consider all the possible service options and to include an analysis of the option of extending the service to Ayrshire. None of the earlier analyses considered that matter in any detail. The assessment of the Ayrshire leg is necessary if we are to consider whether such an extension of the service would add value to the proposed Campbeltown to Ballycastle ferry service.