Reopening a bridge in Irvine and more parking spaces at Kilwinning train station are among a host of potential new travel plans in North Ayrshire.

A new rail line from Lugton to Kilwinning and improved active travel routes on the Ardrossan-Irvine-Kilmarnock corridor are also possibilities. 

Transport Scotland is considering the future of roads, trains and cycle paths in Ayrshire over the next 20 years. 

The agency has presented 138 potential ideas for investment across the region.

They are being weighed up as part of the strategic transport projects review (STPR2) that will shape major investment in Scotland routes over the next two decades.

All of the options are to be assessed in terms of feasibility, affordability and public acceptability among other criteria.

North Ayrshire Council leader Joe Cullinane, said Ayrshire has been ignored for decades by governments and that must change.

He said: “As council leader, it is my job to stand up for North Ayrshire, no matter which party is in government, and that is what I will do.

"This strategic transport review must deliver the investment in our transport infrastructure that we need to realise our ambitions to improve our economy and create opportunities for our citizens.

"If it doesn’t I won’t hold back on holding the government to account.”

Discussions have been taking place with the council and local stakeholders on the transport problems and opportunities in Ayrshire as part of the transport strategy.

Scottish ministers will approve plans before they are released for public comment later this year.

Some of the options being considered for the North Ayrshire area over the next 20 years through the Strategic Transport Projects Review 2:

  • Reopen bridge over River Irvine (at Irvine) to promote active travel.
  • New Rail Station (Drybridge) a former station with more housing now available to north and south.
  • Rail realignment at Saltcoats to mitigate impact of rising sea levels.
  • A737 Bypass (Kilwinning). 
  • Coastal protection measures on the A78, including road realignment between Ardrossan, Largs and Wemyss Bay to mitigate impact of rising sea levels.
  • Fill in the Rail link between Largs, Northbound, to Wemyss Bay.
  • New Rail Station (Ardrossan North).
  • New Rail Station (Largs Marina).
  • Upgrade of bus lanes in Stevenston between Morrisons and the cemetery, including bus only periods for the bus lanes.
  • Increase parking spaces at Kilwinning rail station.
  • Banks of electric hire vehicles on islands to discourage visitors from taking their car on the ferry.
  • Enhance Cumbrae to Largs ferry route: increase capacity.
  • Enhance Arran to Ardrossan ferry route: increase frequency.
  • Short new rail curve from Drybridge to Gailes (opening up options for an intra-Ayrshire rail network) e.g. some Glasgow-Kilmarnock services extended via Drybridge and on via Irvine to Ardrossan OR back to Glasgow via Kilwinning – such trains could reverse at Kilmarnock station or utilise an alternative route (partly still in use) via east side of Kilmarnock to Riccarton and Gatehead – suitable new stations included.
  • Development of new harbour facility at Ardrossan (new linkspan, quay improvements, terminal building, passenger access system, car parking and marshalling area).
  • Enhance Lochranza – Claonaig/Tarbert route: create all year round service.
  • Active travel improvements on Cumbrae e.g. upgrade cycling infrastructure.
  • Active travel improvements on Arran e.g. upgrade NCN 73 between Brodick and Corrie.
  • Enhance Arran to Ardrossan ferry route: increase capacity for bicycles.
  • Improved active travel routes on the Ardrossan-Irvine-Kilmarnock corridor.
  • Introduce new ferry route between Troon and Arran.
  • Improvement of Hunterston rail provision e.g. reopen disused rail line to facilitate access to Hunterston Port (to improve north/south connectivity and increase rail freight).
  • Off-road alternative to the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 7 between Kilwinning and Kilbirnie.
  • Improve east-west rail connections within Ayrshire (e.g. direct services between Kilmarnock, Ardrossan and Largs) and north-south rail connections within Ayrshire (e.g. direct services between Largs-Ayr).
  • New Rail Line (Lugton to Kilwinning).
  • Pennyburn Roundabout (A78/A738) Improvements e.g. to ensure service reliability for bus routes.
  • Upgrade A737 (improve carriageway standard, realignment, straightening)