One of Scotland's busiest ferries has had to divert its course to Troon after major technical failures.

Islanders hoping to board the MV Caledonia Isles, which serves the route between Ardrossan and Brodick on the Isle of Arran, were told on Sunday morning the vessel would drop them off ten miles south of their original destination.

The disruption, which has affected all services on Sunday, was due to a failure of both linkspans at Ardrossan - meaning cars would be unable to be transferred from the vessel to the offloading ramp.

But instead of heading to its backup port in Gourock, the service had to divert to Troon or risk being foot-passenger only - as the linkspan in Gourock was also found to be broken.

READ MORE: Islanders deal blow to Troon hopes of pinching Arran ferry link'

It is not yet known when the failures will be repaired and operational, however engineers are thought to be attending to assess the situation.

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has pressed owners of both ports in Ardrossan and Gourock, and say both linkspans must be repaired as soon as possible.

A CalMac spokesman told The Herald: "With a failure of the linkspan at Ardrossan and the linkspan at the normal port of refuge, Gourock, also out of action, we have had to look at other arrangements to continue to provide a vehicle and passenger service to Brodick.

"We are pressing the owners of Ardrossan, Peel Ports and Gourock, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) to get both linkspans repaired and operational again as soon as possible.

"During this disruption, we will be running an alternative service to Troon and providing bus transportation from the harbour to the train station for foot passengers.

They added: "Although both of these technical failures are out with CalMac’s control we have tried hard to minimise disruption to passengers as much as possible."

The diversion comes after a strong campaign to permanently relocate the lifeline island service to Troon, following concerns Ardrossan Ferry Terminal could not support the route.

Read more: Troon Port's bid to pinch Ardrossan ferry link to Troon hits choppy waters

The revised timetable to incorporate the Troon berthings is as follows:

  • Depart Ardrossan – 09:45 (passenger only) Arrive Brodick – 10:40
  • Depart Brodick – 11:05 (For traffic originally booked on 11:05) Arrive Troon – 12:30
  • Depart Troon – 13:15 (For traffic originally booked on 12:30 Ardrossan departure) Arrive Brodick – 14:40
  • Depart Brodick – 15:05 (For traffic originally booked on 13:55) Arrive Troon – 16:30
  • Depart Troon – 17:15 (For traffic originally book on 15:20 Ardrossan departure) Arrive Brodick – 18:40
  • Depart Brodick – 19:05 (For traffic originally booked on 16:40) Arrive Troon – 20:30
  • Depart Troon - 21:15 (For traffic originally booked on 18:00 Ardrossan departure) Arrive Brodick - 22:40

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, owners of Port of Gourock, made the decision to close the port's linkspan due to an ongoing technical issue at the end of September.

An issue with one of the hydraulic lifting cylinders at the ferry terminal meant the linkspan would be unable to be lifted.

In the meantime, services from Gourock to Dunoon will operate from the Gourock Boat Steps.

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