Crumbling hotel may cause closure of Ayr station

A train sits at Ayr station after the former Station Hotel (rear)  has been deemed unsafe. Picture: PA Wire
A train sits at Ayr station after the former Station Hotel (rear) has been deemed unsafe. Picture: PA Wire
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Temporary closure of Ayr station is being considered after the dangerous state of an adjoining hotel forced more of the platforms to be sealed off, causing significant disruption.

The ScotRail Alliance is considering all options in case the derelict Station Hotel deteriorates further.

An exclusion zone imposed in June to protect passengers from falling debris was extended yesterday,

halting trains south to Stranraer.

It also forced a reduction in the length of trains to and from Glasgow, which particularly hit rush hour services.

The alliance with Network Rail warned passengers that trains would be disrupted “for the foreseeable future”.

READ MORE: Bid to save iconic hotel that inspired Donald Trump’s Turnberry

It comes days before 100,000 people are expected for the Scottish International Airshow in Ayr this weekend.

The alliance said: “We will do everything we can to get people to Ayr station, but our original plans for extra carriages aren’t possible now because of the restrictions.”

It said a “revised timetable”, which has yet to be announced, would operate from Monday. The station handles 1.5 million passengers a year.

South Ayrshire Council said it extended the exclusion zone after its contractors found “crumbling and exposed roof areas that present a significant and immediate danger”.

The local authority said it has removed three tonnes of material from the hotel since June, such as loose slates, rotting timber and cast iron decoration from the roof.

It has tried without success to contact the hotel’s owner since it issued a Dangerous Building notice in March, five years after it closed.

Campaigners are holding a meeting at 7pm tonight in Ayr Town Hall as part of a long-running battle to save the grade B-listed building from demolition.

The success of the French chateaux-style hotel, built by the Glasgow and South Western Railway in 1885, prompted it to open the Turnberry Hotel 21 years later, now owned by Donald Trump.

Campaigner Esther Davies said the Ayr hotel could be subdivided into a community centre and flats, or part re-opened as a “bijoux” hotel.

Labour peer Lord Foulkes of Cumnock said: “She has been trying to get action from the council and the government for months now. If they had taken action earlier, the train disruption could have been avoided.”