AT first glance, the new ferry terminal at Brodick on the Isle of Arran makes an impressive sight.

Unveiled in April last year as part of a £31 million investment which has transformed the harbour, readying the port to accommodate the (still to be delivered) Glen Sannox dual-fuel ferry, it was heralded as a major boost for the economy of one of Scotland’s most popular islands.

However, islanders say the dream has very quickly turned into a nightmare when it comes to going about their daily business.

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As part of our special series examining the crisis facing Scotland’s ferries, The Herald has spoken to multiple sources on Arran who say the shiny new investment is not delivering on what it promised.

And there would appear to be very practical reasons why. In particular, the decision to reposition the harbour by 90 degrees is being blamed for a spike in the number of cancellations on the Brodick to Ardrossan route.

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As a result of the change, the port is now more susceptible to easterly winds, which when whipped up cause major problems for ferries trying to berth, leading to more ferry cancellations.

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Official figures show that 162 scheduled sailings between the two ports were cancelled in 2018, up from 127 the year before. The figure for 2018 might well have been higher had the new harbour been in operation for the full year (it was officially opened on April 9).

For businesses dependent on the ferry for trading reasons, and people who need to get to the mainland reliably for medical purposes, the situation is profoundly worrying.

Compounding the problem is the dissatisfaction many feel with the terminal building itself. The building may look impressive but there are deep practical problems, not least its stairs which make life difficult for many travellers.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), the body which sanctioned the investment, disputes these claims. It cites a variety of reasons for planning the project the way it did. But action must now surely be taken, be it by CMAL, Transport Scotland or ultimately Scottish ministers, to improve matters for the sake of the Arran community.